Like many Old Testament Theologies (e.g., Brueggemann, Preuss, Goldingay) Robin Routledge’s Old Testament Theology: A Thematic Approach contains a chapter on the nations.

As it came out in 2008 Routledge notes works such as Chris Wright’s The Mission of God and James Okoye’s Israel and the Nations (both published in 2006).

It would make an interesting study to look at how different OT theologies deal with the ‘nations’ or ‘mission’ question. Why, for example, do the chapters tend (but not always) to be at the end of the book? Could this be read as the nations as an afterthought? What, I wonder, would an Old Testament Theology look like if a treatment of the nations came first?

Anyway, in the meantime, here’s a breakdown of Routledge’s chapter on ‘God and the Nations (ch. 10, pp. 334). (nb. He has also contributed a very helpful chapter on ‘Mission and Covenant in the Old Testament’ in Bible and Mission: A Conversation Between Biblical Studies and Missiology – see my review in Redcliffe’s mission journal, Encounters).

God and history
– The divine purpose in history
– God and non-Israelite nations (Condemnation of national pride; Oracles against the nations; Divine guidance of national destinies)

Salvation for all nations
– Mission in the Old Testament
– God’s universal covenant
– Mission: at the heart of a narrative substructure of the Old Testament
– Universalism (Israel as witness to the nations, Israel and the nations: equal partners in salvation?)

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