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Alliance, Alliances

See also Alliance

1. Nature and confirmation. Alliances are akin to covenants, although the former apply more to the political and military and the latter to the religious and personal. Alliance implies reciprocal action. It involves obligations, risks, protection, and rewards. Because of the anticipated threat of religious contamination by cults of Canaanite neighbors, Moses issued a law prohibiting Israel’s alliance with them (Exod 34:15ff.; Deut 7:3ff.). The manner of making alliances varied, but most of them had certain factors in common, e.g., oral agreement of mutual protection, oaths, exchange of gifts, eating together, and often intermarriages.

Bibliography B. Davies, Student’s Hebrew Lexicon (1960) 193, 238, 308; R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel (1962), 31, 116f.; E. W. K. Mould, Essentials of Bible History (1966), 220, 229, 262.