Continuing work in my long-ago Deuteronomy and City Life (1983) and my recent Social World of Deuteronomy: a new feminist commentary (2015) and Land Rights of Women in Deuteronomy (2017), here I propose that Birth Stories of Moses parallel Birth Stories of Sargon to compare the way land rights were distributed in Akkad by Sargon and the woman Enheduanna with the way Moses and the women in Deuteronomy distributed land rights in ancient Israel. This paradigm suggests that the intention of Deuteronomy is to describe a utopia, where ownership, administrative and use rights are responsibly distributed as instructions on the maqom sanctuary (12: 2-28), tithing (14:22–29), pilgrimaging (16:1–17) and unresolved killings (19:1–13) reflect.
See Also: Land Rights of Women in Deuteronomy
By Don C. Benjamin
School of Historical, Philosophical & Religious Studies
Arizona State University