By John Van Seters
The basis for all research of biblical legislations is the belief that the Covenant Code is the oldest criminal code within the Hebrew Bible and that every one different legislation are revisions of that code. This e-book units forth the novel speculation that these legislation within the covenant code which are just like Deuteronomy and the Holiness Code are in reality later than either one of those, and consequently cannot be taken because the beginning of Hebrew legislations.
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Additional resources for A Law Book for the Diaspora: Revision in the Study of the Covenant Code
They have a practical application directly related to the field of study. Hammurabi’s “code” does claim to teach future kings how to practice justice by his example. But this is not quite the same thing. Bottéro does not want to say that those who draw up “codes” do so in order to assist judges in making the correct decisions in courts of law. On this point, it seems to me, the analogy with science breaks down. The “laws” are not just the observations of human behavior to predict what will happen in certain situations.
His discussion has relevance for the present study because it raises important issues that bear on the relationship of the casuistic laws of the Covenant Code to their cuneiform parallels and this has much to say about the origin and compositional history of the Covenant Code. Malul’s study lays out in a systematic way the issues and suppositions involved in comparison and will be useful in evaluating the various studies that deal with this subject. Malul is primarily concerned with the use of comparison between biblical and nonbiblical laws and does not apply the principles that he develops to comparison between the biblical law codes, although it is reasonable to believe that his principles should also apply in those cases.
Otto, among others, for his view that both cuneiform law and biblical law arise out of actual legal practice. Instead, Malul accepts the view that the Mesopotamian codes are literary texts and that meaningful comparison must assume a form of historical contact on the literary level of borrowing. In support of literary contact between Babylonian and Israelite law, Malul makes a test of his principles of comparison by using the much-discussed example of the laws of the goring ox in Exod 21:28–36 and their counterparts in the Laws of Eshnunna and the Laws of Hammurabi.
A Law Book for the Diaspora: Revision in the Study of the Covenant Code by John Van Seters