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Early Career Scholars in the Theological Disciplines

Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Colloquium, Session I

When: June 9, 2022, 1:45 pm - Thursday

Where: Ezell 234

Session 4

Session Abstract

This two-part colloquium in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament presents research by current PhD students and engages scholars affiliated with the Christian Scholars Conference. The colloquium aims to help PhD students refine research for potential high-level publication and gain experience interacting with other scholars in the field. Building on the success of the 2021 CSC colloquium, Clay Smith will summarize his dissertation chapter that uses Assyrian evidence to evaluate the Levites in Deuteronomy and three prepared respondents will address portions of the chapter. Open discussion and dialogue will follow. To receive a copy of the chapter in advance, please contact Kipp Swinney at


Paper Abstract

Clay Smith, Baylor University, “Enforcing Loyalty: Neo-Assyrian Officers and Deuteronomy’s Levites as Administrators of the ade

This paper presents a new approach to the interpretation of Deuteronomy’s Levites by considering comparative evidence regarding Neo-Assyrian systems for enforcing loyalty to the dynastic adê. Integral to these systems were qēpu officials, who drew authority from the adê to supervise and enforce loyalty within vassal contexts. Like the qēpu official, the Levites in Deuteronomy’s program – endowed with authority from their adê (cf. Deut 13 and 28) – are established as enforcers of loyalty to this adê for all persons spread throughout Judah. This paper, therefore, also contributes to recent discussion regarding the rationale for Deuteronomy’s adaptation of adê traditions.


Kipp Swinney, Baylor University, Convener

  • Clay Smith, Baylor University, “Enforcing Loyalty: Neo-Assyrian Officers and Deuteronomy’s Levites as Administrators of the adê”
  • Tim Willis, Pepperdine University, First Respondent
  • Lance Hawley, Harding Graduate School of Religion, Second Respondent
  • Jared Saltz, Florida College, Third Respondent
  • Open Discussion, , Closing

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