By Anne Fitzpatrick-McKinley
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Extra resources for The Transformation of Torah from Scribal Advice to Law (JSOT Supplement Series)
Deut. 4-5 expands on it, while Num. 16-21 looks for evidence of intention (Patrick 1989b: 37). An important metaphysical concept which informs the entirety of biblical law is the hierarchy of being. At the summit of the hierarchy of being in the Old Testament stands Yhwh; secondly, the human race is elevated above all other creatures. The case of the goring ox represents a situation wherein a creature has violated that hierarchy (cf. Gen. 5). It is in order to restore the hierarchy that the criminal (the ox) must be destroyed.
Such emphasis was then related to socio-economic circumstances in Israelite society. Halbe saw in Exod. 20) the central command of the Book of the Covenant. If this was the centre around which all other rules were chiastically structured, then it was expressive of the fundamental concerns of the redactor: namely to preserve the unique relationship of Israel to Yhwh. )) to a specific socio-historical background; assuming that rules are always a response to societal needs and desires. More recently, however, and earlier reflected in the movement towards canon criticism, dissatisfaction has been felt with traditional redactional methods.
He assumes that a coherent and consistent system is present in all lawcodes. Ancient lawcodes are founded upon sound legal principles and methodologies which are comparable to those found in modern legal systems. It is the failure to set such codes within the context of a reconstructed conceptual system 1. Some Recent Approaches to Old Testament Law 2. 3. 4. 5. 53 which results in the modern interpreter's view of these codes as inconsistent. The intentions of early codifiers were similar to those of present legislators; to create a coherent set of legal precedents for a society's legal specialists who would in turn transmit these values to the community.