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Royal Motifs in the Pentateuchal Portrayal of Moses

ISBN: 9780567116147
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Scholars have often recognized that Moses is portrayed in the Bible through the use of royal motifs, such as his abandonment at birth, flight from Pharaoh and portrayal as a shepherd, semi-divine figure, temple builder, military general, and lawgiver. Danny Matthews notes that these well-known motifs have been typically used to depict four famous rulers in the ancient Near East—Hammurabi, Esarhaddon, Nabonidus, and Cyrus. He then argues that the motifs have been adapted by the authors of the Pentateuch to affirm Moses as a more ancient leader, whose work has resulted in the constitution of the community of Israel. As a result, Israel’s identity and enduring existence rest upon the authority and legacy of Moses.

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