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By F. Stanley Jones, JONES

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By using such metaphors, the prophets were able to emphasise the living relationship between the people and their God, a relationship which went far beyond the formal and judicial aspects of covenant and treaty. 2 has been adduced from the use of the verb paSac in this context. In the ancient Near Eastern treaties, the verb "rebel" was used as a term to designate a neglect to acknowledge the authority of the suzerain by violating the stipulations of the pact that bound the two parties together /39/.

1:2-3 must begin with Mendenhall's claim that the form lying behind the covenant established between Yahweh and Israel at Sinai was that of the suzerainty treaty between an emperor and his vassal, the best examples of which come from the Hittite empire of the Late Bronze Age /9/. The form of these treaties can, of course, vary but, allowing for the vagaries of historical transmission, certain stable features can be recognised. These features have been outlined by Mendenhall /10/as follows: 1. The preamble, in which the king identifies himself and in which his titles and attributes are listed together with his genealogy.

Among these doctrines was the concept of Yahweh's purposive action in history which always took priority over any rival human plan or counsel (cf. Prov. 19:21). However, the counsellors, in formulating their policies, had relied entirely on their own wisdom and diplomatic cleverness and had taken 32 1/2 Prophecy and Tradition no account of the supreme will and purpose of Yahweh (Is. ). Isaiah, therefore, conceived his task as being to emphasise the wisdom of God against which no human counsel could prevail /31/.

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