Original Research

Deuteronomy 15:1–11 and its socio-economic blueprints for community living

Blessing O. Boloje
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 1 | a5147 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i1.5147 | © 2018 Blessing Onoriodẹ Bọlọjẹ | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 June 2018 | Published: 25 October 2018

About the author(s)

Blessing O. Boloje, Department of Old Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Biblical criticism regards biblical books as fundamental texts expressing and embodying the core of faith and practice of a believing community. Thus, in line with canonical criticism, this article assumes the Book of Deuteronomy as a basic text, cherished and believed by those who practice the Jewish and Christian faiths. Primarily, the article analyses the text of Deuteronomy 15:1–11 against the background of its social vision for community living in ancient Israel. The potential significance of this humanitarian and/or brotherly ethics and its associated benefits are the secondary concerns of the article. The article, however, does not preclude reflection on scholarly discussions regarding Deuteronomy’s compositional history, though with limited focus. The article holds that a practical understanding and appropriation of Deuteronomy’s radical humanitarian vision will not only help in raising a healthy community which functions as an alternative to poverty but also reinvigorate commitment to a mission of social responsibility for God’s people living in covenant and/or faith communities.


Deuteronomy 15; humanitarian vision; Sabbath rest; community living


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