By David P. Wright
Such a lot students think that the various similarities among the Covenant Code (Exodus 20:23-23:19) and Mesopotamian legislation collections, particularly the legislation of Hammurabi, which date to round 1750 BCE, are because of oral culture that prolonged from the second one to the 1st millennium. This e-book deals a essentially new realizing of the Covenant Code, arguing that it relies without delay and essentially upon the legislation of Hammurabi and that using this resource textual content happened through the Neo-Assyrian interval, someday among 740-640 BCE, while Mesopotamia exerted powerful and non-stop political and cultural impression over the kingdoms of Israel and Judah and a time whilst the legislation of Hammurabi have been actively copied in Mesopotamia as a literary-canonical textual content. The research bargains major new facts demonstrating version of literary dependence is the one practicable reason behind the paintings. It additional examines the compositional common sense utilized in reworking the resource textual content to provide the Covenant Code, therefore supplying a remark to the biblical composition from the hot theoretical point of view. This research exhibits that the Covenant Code is basically an inventive educational paintings instead of a repository of legislation practiced by means of Israelites or Judeans over the process their background. The Covenant Code, too, is an ideological paintings, which remodeled a paradigmatic and prestigious criminal textual content of Israel's and Judah's imperial overlords right into a assertion symbolically countering overseas hegemony. The examine is going extra to review the connection of the Covenant Code to the narrative of the publication of Exodus and explores how this can relate to the improvement of the Pentateuch as an entire.
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Additional resources for Inventing God's Law: How the Covenant Code of the Bible Used and Revised the Laws of Hammurabi
This political reconfiguration in CC over against LH can be viewed as a way of asserting symbolic superiority in the face of actual political oppression. By replicating the essence of the chief exemplar of Mesopotamian law, but rearticulating the nature of sovereign power, CC turns LH against the foreign overlords of Israel and Judah. The ideological force of CC is underscored by its apparently having been created in connection with a larger narrative of enslavement and deliverance from Egypt (see chapter 12).
Child Rebellion (21:15, 17; texts on p. 193) The laws on child rebellion in Hammurabi’s collection (LH 192–193, 195) conclude the long series of laws pertaining to family matters (basically LH 117–191), of which the debt-slavery and marriage laws were part (see topics 1 and 2). Hammurabi’s child rebellion laws lead to the laws on striking and other injuries. In CC, the child rebellion laws come after the homicide law (vv. 36 Primary Evidence for Dependence 12–14). When CC’s homicide law is seen as having been moved up from its later context in LH, CC’s child rebellion laws are effectively contiguous to the family legislation entailed in the debt-slave laws.
67 His judgment about the indigenous nature of the content agrees with Otto. But despite this, Jackson allows for some influence on content at certain places. With regard to the ox law in 21:35 (similar to LE 53), he says: What may well have originated as a common customary practice was followed in both cultures by reduction to writing, and, whatever the source of the common custom, the biblical reduction to writing appears to have been influenced by its literary antecedent. True, this particular law has no parallel in Hammurabi, even though the latter collection does deal with the homicidal ox, and there appears to be no possibility that the Laws of Eshnunna were actually known to the authors of the Mishpatim, even though the Laws of Hammurabi might have been.
Inventing God's Law: How the Covenant Code of the Bible Used and Revised the Laws of Hammurabi by David P. Wright