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The Treaty/Covenant Pattern in King Benjamin’s Address (Mosiah 1-6)

TitleThe Treaty/Covenant Pattern in King Benjamin’s Address (Mosiah 1-6)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1984
AuthorsRicks, Stephen D.
JournalBYU Studies Quarterly
KeywordsCovenant; King Benjamin; Treaty

In the ancient world, treaties and covenants governed both civic and religious life. Here the author, a professor of Hebrew at Brigham Young University, reviews research that has been done on Ancient Near Eastern treaty literature and outlines the common pattern of treaty and covenant making among ancient documents. The pattern includes a preamble, sharing of antecedent history, outlining individual stipulations, participants giving oaths of acceptance, warnings of curses to attend covenant-breakers and promises of blessings to covenant-keepers, and the depositing of the text. The author compares a covenant passage in the Book of Mormon to the pattern shown in other ancient works, including the Pentateuch, and cites the similarities as evidence to the Book of Mormon’s authenticity.