Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship


love, hate, Helaman, context, antiquity


Few literary genres from the ancient world stand out so prominently as the Near Eastern vassal treaty. Scholars have shown that these political contracts formed between vassal kings and suzerain provided the conceptual background for the book of Deuteronomy. “The assumption is that Israel conceived of its relation to Yahweh as that of subject peoples to a world king and that they expressed this relationship in the concepts and formulas of the suzerainty treaty.”