A land of gates: Covenant communities in the book of deuteronomy

Daniel A. Frese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A noticeable feature of the D source's rhetorical style is the repetitive use of stock terms and phrases, such as "the place which Yahweh your god will choose to establish his name." The term "your gates" is one such term, and it occurs 27 times in D with a non-standard meaning when compared to the normal use of "gate" throughout the Hebrew Bible. The precise referent of has received very little scholarly attention, though a few different meanings have been suggested or implied: that "gates" are towns, that they are towns other than Jerusalem, that they are Israelite clans, or that they are literal, physical gates. In this paper I review and critique these suggestions, and propose a new definition for based on an analysis of its use in D. I conclude that refers to any covenantally-granted Israelite settlement within Canaan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-52
Number of pages20
JournalVetus Testamentum
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 28 2015


  • cities
  • covenant
  • D source
  • Deuteronomy
  • gates
  • land

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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