Idolatry and the Covenant
In this essay, I will argue that the concept of idolatry being the ultimate sin was put in place in order to prevent the Israelites from breaking their covenant with God. One might respond to this statement by saying that the covenant was already based on the prevention of idolatry, so to say that the prohibition of idolatry was put in place in order to prevent the covenant from being broken would be like saying that the prohibition of alcohol is intended to prevent people from drinking; it is, in a way, circular in logic. However, my argument is that God made idolatry the ultimate sin in the covenant as a sort of reinforcement that would help prevent the Israelites from breaking the other stipulations of the covenant. The necessity for such a ‘reinforcement’ is displayed in the story of the Golden Calf, and I will elaborate on this point at a later part of the essay. First, however, I must explain a certain format that the covenant seems to follow. According to John D. Levenson in his Sinai and Zion: An Entry Into The Jewish Bible, was very similar to the treaties derived from the Hittite Empire. “The purpose of these treaties was to secure the allegiance of the smaller states to make sure that they stood faithful in alliance with the Hittites and did not pursue an independent foreign policy (p. 26).” All of these treaties followed a general format conssting of six parts. The first component of the format of their treaties was called the preamble or titulary, in which the suzerain identifies himself. The second part is called the historical prologue, in which the relationship of the parties is presented as a background for the treaty. At this point, this may not make sense, but I will explain it in the next paragraph. The third part lays out the stipulations of the treaty, or the conditions that both sides will fulfill. The fourth part is the deposition of the text of the treaty. “Any legal document should be deposited in...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document