Morality in prayer

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at
Sun Aug 20 19:16:23 EDT 2000

Dear Maria,

>I am curious about a particular requests made by Moses in Deuteronomy
>11:18-21  It follows a long list of commandments which summarize similar
>requests in earlier sections of the Bible.

>It seems that not only is an immediate conduct being given, but
>instructions for its' future transference are also being given.

>I wonder what period of time these directions might have been given and
>if simiar appeals to general sense of morality appear in the writings of
>surrounding and earlier cultures?

I believe that Moses gave these directions (c. 1440 B.C.). About
surrounding cultures, I do not have at hand such materials to check. James
B. Pritchard, editor, _Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old
Testament_ (3rd ed. with a suppl.; Princeton: Princeton Univ., 1969) is one
place to find such records.

>My question comes from a quest for understanding how. when, if or why
>prayer shifted from personal petition to a sense of the larger well
>being of a commmunity.

As soon as someone cared for his family, prayer was likely to broach
matters beyond his personal self. Moses had a concern for the well being of
the entire nation of Israel.

				Harold Holmyard

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