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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Rétribution et intercession dans le Deutéronome
Sénéchal, Vincent

Berlin: de Gruyter, 2009 pp. ix + 509. $210.00

Series Information
Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 408

Description: In this book Vincent Sénéchal presents a detailed inquiry to solve an enigma: Why does the retelling of the Golden Calf narrative in Deut. 9-10 keep silent on the punishments described in the original account of Exod. 32-34? The absence of punishment in Deut. 9-10 is more than surprising in Deuteronomy, since its theology is strongly oriented to obedience to the law given by YHWH and since it stresses particularly the seriousness of violation of the first commandment. This dissertation aims to investigate the reasons why such an omission occurred in the course of the redactional process and in what sense it is meaningful for the characterization of divine justice in the whole book. The author first offers a comprehensive state of recent exegetical research on Deuteronomy and the Pentateuch. In the course of the investigation, he reflects on categories such as sin, retribution and intercession and analyses the different kinds of retribution present in the book. He then studies the redaction history of Deut. 9:7-10:11 and describes its place and function both in the composition of the Pentateuch and in the history of Israel during the first decades of the Persian period. This historical contextualization leads to several hypotheses to solve the puzzling enigma.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Deuteronomy, Literature

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Review by Paul Sanders
Published 11/30/2012
Citation: Paul Sanders, review of Vincent Sénéchal, Rétribution et intercession dans le Deutéronome, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2012).

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