By Raymond Westbrook
Booklet by way of Westbrook, Raymond
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Additional resources for Property and Family in Biblical Law (JSOT Supplement Series)
169. 2. Proposed originally by G. Driver, Deuteronomy (ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1896), pp. 178-80. 3. Deuteronomy, p. 170. 4. There is the further point that it is hard to imagine a 'law-giver' in such a primitive society: one would expect the development of the law at this stage to be organic and not by legislative innovation. 40 Property and the Family in Biblical Law sion that it is a later development or an earlier survival. If it is later then it is an academic invention, not developed organically from early time but only by the legislators of the exilic or postexilic period.
Socio-Economic Background', p. 122. 2. 'Paralleles nouziens avec lois et coutumes de 1'ancient testament', RB 44 (1935), p. 38. 3. J. Lewy, 'The Biblical Institution of Deror in the Light of Akkadian Docu- 2. Jubilee Laws 4! Ammi-saduqa, the most important document for our purposes, states: If a free man of Numhia, of Emut-balum, of Ida-maraz, of Uruk, of Isin, of Kisura, [or] of Malgium, has 'bound' an obligation (ehiltum) and [has given] himself or his wife or children into servitude or as a pledge..
20: 'The field and the cave that is in it were made over to Abraham as a possession for a burying place by the Hittites' (RSV). 1600 BCE. It would be rash, therefore, to draw any conclusions about the exact source of the law of Genesis 23. But we suggest that the widespread existence in the latter half of the second millenium BCE of a legal fiction of double transfer, by sovereign as well as by property-owner, in cases where the long-term rights of the alienee to the land were to be particularly emphasized, might well give rise to the popular notion of the alienee acquiring the land both from sovereign and owner, either of which could be indifferently mentioned as alienator.