By David P. Wright
So much students think that the various similarities among the Covenant Code (Exodus 20:23-23:19) and Mesopotamian legislation collections, specifically 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 ebook deals a essentially new knowing of the Covenant Code, arguing that it relies without delay and basically upon the legislation of Hammurabi and that using this resource textual content happened in the course of the Neo-Assyrian interval, someday among 740-640 BCE, while Mesopotamia exerted powerful and non-stop political and cultural impact over the kingdoms of Israel and Judah and a time while the legislation of Hammurabi have been actively copied in Mesopotamia as a literary-canonical textual content. The learn deals major new facts demonstrating version of literary dependence is the single achievable reason for the paintings. It extra examines the compositional good judgment utilized in reworking the resource textual content to supply the Covenant Code, hence delivering a statement to the biblical composition from the hot theoretical standpoint. This research exhibits that the Covenant Code is essentially an artistic educational paintings instead of a repository of legislation practiced by means of Israelites or Judeans over the process their heritage. 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 check the connection of the Covenant Code to the narrative of the ebook of Exodus and explores how this can relate to the improvement of the Pentateuch as an entire.
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Extra info for Inventing God's Law: How the Covenant Code of the Bible Used and Revised the Laws of Hammurabi
40 However, this tradition consisted not so much of the laws themselves but of “standard problems” or “school problems” that were considered and answered independently by each society. 45 As for the development of the text of CC, Westbrook has argued that the models of textual growth suggested by scholars such as Otto or Schwienhorst-Schönberger are inconsistent with the editorial evidence of cuneiform analogues. One must assume that the text is coherent and consistent. 46 Schwienhorst-Schönberger’s study, like Otto’s, is concerned with charting CC’s redactional history.
Yet another reader may wish to split the single topic 8 into two: talion and injury to a slave. Whether one counts twelve, thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen topics, the individual points of similarity remain. Furthermore, the descriptions of the topics themselves, such as “child rebellion” or “crop destruction,” are only to facilitate comparison. They are not definitive or comprehensive legal categories, as modern jurisprudence or broader comparative legal analysis might choose for description. They certainly are not proposed to mask differences or assimilate categories that are incomparable.
99 Second to Chirichigno in the number of observed sequential similarities is Van Seters’s recent study, noted previously. 100 He also recognizes that the second half of CC’s casuistic laws (21:37–22:14) has a thematic connection to the first half of LH, which correlates in part with the conclusions of this study (see part II). In contrast to Chirichigno, he claims that sequential similarities are evidence of literary dependence on LH. But Van Seters presents the data very schematically, without detailed commentary.