In this chapter I begin to make the case for the central claim of this book: that the approach of the classical texts of Jewish tradition to the DCT/SMU issue is complex and nuanced, notwithstanding the fact that the contemporary literature is usually reluctant to admit this. My argument, so far as the bulk of this chapter (i.e. section 3.3) is concerned, will take the form of an analysis of biblical texts2
that apparently support or have been claimed to support SMU. I shall argue that the import of most of these texts is at best ambiguous, and that while some texts clearly reject various command forms of DCT, most others, if they show anything about DCT/SMU at all, can just as plausibly be understood to buttress various will forms of DCT as to support various types of SMU.3 If my analysis is correct, it will demonstrate that the view of thinkers such as Brunner,4 who argue that the Bible unequivocally and consistently endorses an ontic will version of DCT, is unjustiﬁed; and that the position of writers like Jacobs and Spero,5 who understand the Bible as being clearly in favour of SMU, is similarly exaggerated.