Covenants: Lasting Implications of an Unoriginal Concept Covenants can be found all through history. Even today covenants are created all the time between individuals and whole societies. The United States is under the obligation of covenants with nearly every nation of the world, either concerning military treaties or trade embargos. So too can covenants be found in the histories of all the world’s great civilizations. These historical covenants can very often be directly paralleled with other covenants throughout history. The covenants the Israelite community can be directly compared to the Hittite Suzerainty-Vassal treaties. These covenants contain the same basic elements and were created to serve similar purposes. Both the Hittite and the Israelite covenants are agreements between greater powers (kings or God) and lesser people (lesser rulers or Israelites) created for the purpose of benefiting both sides of the agreement in one way or another. The Hittite Suzerainty-Vassal treaties contained six major parts, the Preamble, the Historical Prologue, the Stipulations/Organization, the Deposit and Reading, the Witnesses, and the Curses and Blessings. These treaties were established between powerful kings of large societies and lesser kings of weaker societies. Both sides in the agreement stood to benefit in some way from the covenant. The greater power could promise military protection in exchange for exclusive trading rights with the lesser power. One of the stipulations of these treaties usually demanded monogamy from the weaker of the two powers (no other agreements with powerful societies). Just in learning about the layout and purposes of the Hittite treaties, it is easy to see how they are very similar to the treaties made between God and his followers. Most important in the Hebrew Bible was the Sinai Covenant. God called upon Moses by way of a trembling mountain and an impressive display of smoke and thund…
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