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THE LITERARY STRUCTURE
OF THE BOOK OF EXODUS 1–18
AND THE LITERARY STRUCTURE
OF ANCIENT HITTITE TREATIES
details

As a result of the investigations it was found that the structure of six consecutive pericopes of the Book of Exodus 1–18 fulfills the requirements imposed by the literary scheme of the Hittite alliance treaties:

  1. Exo 1,1–6,1: the description of the constant God's care of Israel in the situation of the threat of the existence of the Nation in the time preceding the God's revelation to Moses in Egypt, i.e. the revelation, described since Exo 6,2, which begins the four–element ceremonial of the covenant making.
  2. Exo 6,2–11,10:
    • Exo 6,2–8: presentation of the stronger partner, his name, his relations with the ancestors of the weaker partner
    • God gives promises to Israel:
      • Exo 6,7: to make a covenant:
        I will take you as my people, and I will be your God,
        what is tantamount to the expression:
        I will make the alliance with you;
      • Exo 6,6–8: to give them freedom;
      • Exo 6,8: to give them the land of Canaan for their possession;
    • Exo 6,14–26: the genealogy of Moses and Aaron – it is the presentation of the weaker partner of the covenant,
    • Exo 7,8–11,10: show of majesty and magnificence and power of the stronger partner of the covenant – the ten miraculous signs.
  3. Exo 12,1–13,16: God gives the basic covenant law for Israel: in honor of God Israel has to celebrate annually the Passover, starting from dusk of the fourteenth day of the month Abib, and has to eat without leaven throughout seven days after. The narrative elements, in this the description of the killing of the firstborn sons of Egypt and the description of Israel's departure out of bondage (Exo 12,29–42), serve for an explanation of this law.
  4. Exo 13,17–14,31: act of the covenant making (cutting) – God leads Israel from the place of consumption of the Passover meal to the Sea of Reeds (the Red Sea), and the two partners pass between its split waters as between the halves of an animal, in accordance with the ceremonial rite (the legitimacy of this understanding is confirmed by perfectly understood text of Isa 51,9–10 – click, please, to read the discussion of this parallelism, contained in my doctoral thesis: it is necessary to choose there pages 209–217).
  5. Exo 15,1–21: the commemoration of the fact of the ratification of the covenant and of the fulfillment of its obligations.
  6. Exo 15,22–18,27: God's orders, prohibitions, blessing and anger towards Israel, protection from enemies; the appointment of the judges of the People; the thanksgiving to God for the contracted covenant and for His redemptive intervention.
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