Hans Ausloos, «Exod 23,20-33 and the War of YHWH», Vol. 80 (1999) 555-563
Some crucial elements of the compositional structure of the "war of YHWH" which can be found in Exod 14, Josh 10, Judg 4 and 1 Sam 7, equally occur in Exod 23,20-33. The differences between the latter text and the former pericopes, however, point into the conclusion that Exod 14, Josh 10, Judg 4 and 1 Sam 7 on the one hand and Exod 23,20-33 on the other are separate witnesses of an earlier tradition about YHWH as warrior.
Foregoing the question whether the origin of the scheme of the "war of YHWH" is (proto-)Deuteronom(ist)ic or whether it is much older, in the following part of this contribution I will indicate that some crucial elements of this compositional structure can also be found in Exod 23,20-33, a text which, as already indicated, is often brought into relationship with a Deuteronom(ist)ic reworking of GenesisNumbers.
2. The Scheme of the "War of YHWH" in Exod 23,20-33
At least three important elements of the aforementioned scheme occur in Exod 23,20-33, a divine speech in which YHWH announces the taking possession of the Promised Land: (a) YHWH will cause confusion within the enemys camp (v. 27: Mmh); (b) the enemies will "turn their backs" to the Israelites (v. 27: Pr( Ntn); (c) YHWH will hand over the inhabitants of the land to the Israelites (v. 31: dyb Ntn).
(a) Analogous to the pattern of YHWHs war in Exod 14, Josh 10, Judg 4 and 1 Sam 7, it is said in Exod 23,27 that YHWH will throw into confusion each people that Israel fights against (M(h lk t) ytmhw)31. The vocabulary used is identical with Exod 14,24, Josh 10,10, Judg 4,15 and 1 Sam 7,10. In all these passages, the term Mmh occurs. This is so particularly significant, since the verb Mmh is not frequently used in the Hebrew Bible. With YHWH as subject, as it is the case in Exod 23,27, it is only found in the aforesaid verses and in Ps 18,15 (= 2 Sam 22,15); 144,6; 2 Chr 15,6. Contrary to the latter verse, the two former passages undoubtedly function within the context of YHWH-war.
(b) Taking into account the context of the term Mmh in Exod 23,27, the expression dyb Ntn also points in the direction of a relationship between Exod 23 and the (Deuteronomisitic) scheme of the war of YHWH, since the formula plays a role in Josh 10 and Judg 432. In this respect, however, it is important to note that this expression often occurs troughout the Hebrew Bible to denote that YHWH does or does not deliver the enemies to Israel33 or vice versa34. Moreover, in a profane context, the expression can mean "entrust"35, "put something at someones disposal"36, or