Festschrift für Georg Fischer SJ zum 60. Geburtstag
Edited By Dominik Markl, Claudia Paganini and Simone Paganini
This Word is Your Life: The Theology of ‘Life’ in Deuteronomy
‘Life’ (the root hyx) is one of the key theological concepts in the book of Deuteronomy, as this article will endeavour to outline.1 The analysis will begin with an overview of the occurrence and distribution of the root within Deuteronomy and then consider the most significant contexts in which it appears. The argument aims at showing how the theme of life reaches its climax at the end of Moses’ Moab covenant speech (Deut 30), how it is transformed anew in the final equation of ‘this word’ with life (Deut 32:47) and how the theology of life is conceived as one of the theological and hermeneutical foundations of the framing passages of Deuteronomy.2 ← 71 | 72 →
1. Occurrence, distribution, forms and formulations
The principal Hebrew root referring to the semantic field of life (hyx) occurs in Deuteronomy in the verb ‘to live, to make / keep alive’ (hyx, 18x),3 the adjective ‘alive’ (yx, 8x)4 and the noun ‘life’ (~yyx, 12x).5 The following table presents the distribution of these three lexemes within the book.
A first glance at the table shows that there are clear concentrations of the root hyx in the first part of Moses’ parenetical speeches in Deut 4–8 (16x)6 and in the chapters towards the end of the book (Deut 28–33, 15x), while it appears quite infrequently within the legal code of Deuteronomy (just 7x in Deut 12–20). Moreover, one...
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