Bible: Deuteronomy(ca. 475 BCE)
The biblical book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew bible and consists of sermons delivered by Moses to his people at the end of their forty years of wandering but before they reach the Promised Land. Modern estimations about authorship of Deuteronomy have ranged from an uncritical acceptance of Mosaic authorship (ca. 1400–1200 B.C.) to the idea that the work is a fictive autobiographical account written centuries later. Although the source is technically anonymous, the content is attributed to Moses himself. However, it is realistic to think that an editor or editors arranged the text centuries later.
The Ten Commandments are placed in a different context in Deuteronomy than in their original setting in Exodus (20:1–17), as they are at the head of a large section concerning the restatement of the covenant between Yahweh and his people (chapters 5–26). It is framed much like ancient Near Eastern treaties, in which a subordinate ruler places himself under...
Moses (Yale University Art Gallery)View Full Size