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.
often in a military context "deliver"37. Although the utterance is almost exclusively found within Deuteronomistic literature with YHWH as subject and the enemies of Israel as object, it seems, however, to be the most appropriate Hebrew expression in order to render the idea of handing over.
(c) Besides Mmh and dyb Ntn, the motif of the flight of the enemies (v. 31: Pr( Ntn) fits very well into the line of thought that is developed in the scheme of YHWHs war, although it cannot be found literally in Exod 14, Josh 10, Judg 4 and 1 Sam 7. In the Sea Narrative, the Israelites are first fleeing from the Egyptians. Afterwards, when the Israelites have crossed the Sea and the Egyptians are pursuing them, they do not even have any opportunity to flee. Notwithstanding the fact that the expression Pr( Ntn is not used in Josh 10,10, Judg 4,16 and 1 Sam 7,11, the activity of the flight is clearly suggested in these passages by making use of the verb Pdr.
Contrary to the expression dyb Ntn, which plays an important role in Deuteronomy and Deuteronomistic History, the formula Pr( Ntn only occurs in Exod 23,27 and Ps 18,41 (= 2 Sam 22,41)38. Within the Deuteronomistic canon39, however, the noun Pr( is frequently used40. With the exception of Josh 7,8.12, 2 Sam 22,41 and Jer 32,33, in which Pr( has the connotation "to turn away from", Pr( often is linked with the term h#$q41, thus referring to Israels obstinacy. In Jer 32,33, the expression is applied to the inhabitants of Judah, who turned away from YHWH (Pr( hnp). Josh 7,8 (Pr( Kph) and 7,12 (Pr( hnp) deal with Israel, taking refuge in order to be saved from hostile peoples. In these passages, the ones who are running away are at the same time the subject of the verb that accompanies the term. In Exod 23,27, however, YHWH is responsible for the flight of Israels enemies.
In short, although Exod 23, Josh 10, Judg 4 and 1 Sam 7 have the theme of the flight of Israels enemies in a context of YHWH-war in common, Exod 23,27 takes a special place in this series of texts because of the particular use of the term Pr(. Outside Exod 23,27, the expression Pr( Ntn only occurs in the psalm in 2 Sam 22,41 (= Ps 18,41). Because of the special character of 2 Sam 22, it is questionable whether the expression can be characterised as Deuteronom(ist)ic42. Moreover, in 2 Sam 22,41b,