The most important source of information on Hebrew legal history is the Pentateuch. Various codes and single laws are included in the continuous narrative, which begins with the creation of the world and ends with Moses' death. Jewish tradition, as well as the Bible itself, attributes them all to the same period, viz., the lifetime of Moses, which corresponds approximately to the end of the thirteenth century B.C.E.
The history as reconstructed by Wellhausen, on the other hand, distinguishes between the final redaction of the Pentateuch, which is fixed as late as the fourth century B.C.E.., and the various sources used by the redactor. According to this view, the earliest is the little Code Exodus 34:17–28, which uses the divine name J(ahveh), and which can be attributed to the time of Moses. Another collection is Exodus 20–23, belonging to a source that employs the divine name E(lohim); it should be dated during the period of Joshua or of the judges, i.e., about the twelfth century. The book of D(euteronomy), according to this school, is the Law book found in the Temple in 621 B.C.E. and is connected with the cultic reform of King Josiah. Another collection, the so-called H(oliness Code): Leviticus 17–26, is considered to be earlier than 600, while the P(riestly Code) belongs to the postexilic period and has been identified by this school with the law promulgated by Ezra in the second half of the fifth century. This source consists mainly of the legal portions of the first part of Leviticus and of Numbers as well as a revision of Exodus and many passages of Genesis.1
Another view on the structure of the biblical codes has been proposed by A. Jirku.2 According to his "iron law," the author of a code adheres always to the same style, so that differences in style point to the existence of different sources. One ought, therefore, to distinguish in the Pentateuch between ten forms of speech, such as casuistic or apodictic, singular or plural.
The first classification was accepted and developed by A. Alt.3 The casuistic formulation, in his view, results from Canaanite judge-made law and corresponds to the other law collections of the ancient East. This style is peculiar to the Book of the Covenant (Exodus 21–23), which, according to Alt, was adopted from the Canaanites during the period of the judges. The apodictic formulations of the Ten Commandments or of the curses of Deuteronomy 27 are, on the other hand, native creations of Israel. From the earliest times they were included in the priestly preaching and formed the main element in the periodic renewal of the covenant (see Joshua 8:34).
The system suggested by this author, though still communis opinio, has undergone much criticism. We know too little of Canaanite law to be able to identify it with the casuistic passages of the Pentateuch. Most of the law books of the ancient East, it is true, are formulated in a casuistic pattern, but there exist examples of the apodictic style outside of Israel. Even the rule that a legislator does not change his style unless quoting from different sources is open to dispute. If certain elements are important to him, he may switch from casuistic to apodictic speech, especially where moral and religious matters are concerned.4
Reference should also be made to the view of Yehezkel Kaufmann who on the whole classifies the laws according to the principles of the Wellhausen school, but stresses the independence of the sources.5 All of them, in his opinion, consist of very ancient traditions: the earliest material was that preserved in Genesis; the Priestly Code preceded Deuteronomy, so that the final edition of the whole Pentateuch could be dated about the time of King Josiah.
For the purposes of Hebrew legal history we should not put too much stress on the literary aspects of biblical research. Ideas found in the Priestly Code, for instance, may be most ancient and their reduction to writing may have been the final step in a long oral tradition. Later schools such as those of Form Criticism6 and Uppsala,7 correctly take a more synthetic stand toward the variety of sources. The Swedish scholars assign much more importance to the oral tradition underlying the biblical literature than to its written form. When dealing with the social structure and institutions of Israel we do not, therefore, rely upon the literary and chronological data, but rather concentrate on trends of development as emerging from the Bible as a whole.
Unfortunately, there are few sources besides the text to illustrate Hebrew law in action. A potsherd from the seventh century B.C.E. seems to be a judicial petition of a workman against the illegal detention of his clothes.8 The Aramaic papyri of Elephantine, at the southern border of Egypt, belong to the Jewish garrison there9 and date from the fifth century. At the same time the archive of the Murashu family of Nippur mentions a number of Babylonian Jews as being in trade relations with the family.10 Another series of Aramaic documents written between 375 and 335 B.C.E. at Samaria11 was discovered in a cave north of Jericho and shows the practice in Palestine itself. From the Ptolemaic period we have quite a number of Jewish deeds in Greek,12 while the Roman period is represented by the documents from the Judaean desert in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.13
For the long development preceding the legal collections of the Pentateuch we have to rely on indirect evidence. Sometimes, early institutions and rules of law can be reconstructed from their later counterparts, especially if comparison is made with parallel developments in other societies. Information can also be obtained by a legal analysis of biblical narratives, ceremonies, names, phrases, and terms.14 Quite often, it is true, this yields little more than a hypothesis, but taken together with the results of interpretation of legal passages and checked by comparative research, this branch of Hebrew legal study may prove fruitful.
Hebrew tradition did not distinguish between norms of religion, morality, and law. As befitting their common divine origin, man was bound to obey all of them with equal conscientiousness. The apodictic style, especially, signifies the fact that the command originated from God and that its promulgation was part of a religious ceremony. Cultic rules quite often appear in a sequence of civil laws (for example, Exodus 22–23) and the pleas of the prophets for justice are part of their teaching of loyalty to God.15
The distinction between religion and law was, however, known already in Babylonian and Hittite laws as well as in the Greek Code of Gortyn and the Roman Twelve Tables.16 That does not mean that the state was disinterested in the discharge of religious duties by priests or citizens. But religious matters, though of public concern, belonged to a separate category from the law of the state; in Israel, on the other hand, no difference was felt between the two and neither of them were creations of the state.
There are various rules of law that result from these concepts, both in Israel and in other legal systems.17 Justice is administered in the name of God and quite often the court or official body convenes in the sanctuary or on the occasion of a religious ceremony (compare Genesis 14:17–24; Exodus 15:25; Joshua 24:25; Psalm 122:5). God himself was said to supervise the judges (2 Chronicles 19:6–7; Psalm 82), and his decision might be obtained by ordeal or oath.18 In the same way divine supervision was invoked to safeguard relations within the family and treaties between individuals or groups. Charismatic personalities, like Deborah and Samuel, represented the divine character of the judicial office.
During the Israeilite monarchy, it is true, the king assumed the place of the supreme judge, to whom petition could be made against any unjust decision (2 Samuel 12; 14; 15; 2 Kings 8:3). However, this right was assumed because of the king's responsibility toward God for his subjects and not because he was considered to be the "fountain of justice." The law was not the creation of kingship but its basis and prerequisite.19
It was also through religious ideas that certain crimes, such as murder and adultery, were publicly prosecuted, in order to preserve the purity of the community and of the land (Genesis 9:6; Leviticus 20; Deuteronomy 19:13). Similar concepts stand behind the rules of expiation in the event of an unwitnessed homicide, with oaths of innocence replacing the original collective responsibility (Deuteronomy 21:1–9), and also stand behind the distinction between wilful and accidental manslaughter (Exodus 21:13).
Having considered the religious character of Hebrew law, we come now to another result of the interdependence of ideas, namely, the legal character of biblical theology and religion. In biblical narrative God appears as an anthropomorphic being who lives under the rule of law. Hebrew thought, thereby, reacted upon the Mesopotamian concept of cosmic order. The various forces of nature were understood by the Babylonians as gods living in a kind of superstate under an overall legal system.20 The monotheism of Israel did not change this idea for a belief in the continuous action of God's discretionary power. The concept of the state was retained, but it was changed into the idea, if one may say so, of a constitutional monarchy rather than of a tyranny.21 It is on the basis of this belief that questions of theodicy play such an important part in biblical thought. Questions like that of Abraham (Genesis 18:25) and Job touch the fundamentals of the Hebrew religion.
The Rabbis already interpreted the story of the creation as a legitimation of divine rule over the world and of the resulting right of Israel to the land of Canaan.22 Some of the stories, it is true, are at variance with codified law, but they may be presumed to suit the prehistory of this law, i.e., the tribal customs in use during the patriarchal period. Ordinary law, for instance, had left behind the system of collective responsibility but divine retribution was still imposed upon the community as a whole (Exodus 20:5; Joshua 7; Isaiah 53).23 Divine punishment is usually measured according to the ancient ius talionis of reciprocal justice: as a person does, so shall it be done to him (compare Exodus 22:21–24). God is, however, ready to forgive when the culprit offers a ransom (Exodus 30:11–16; compare 2 Samuel 24).24
Biblical sin, consequently, is a wrong committed against God, violation of a law, or even insurrection against the legal authority. God is said to avenge any wrongful act against him, i.e., he takes the law into his own hands as was usual in the tribal period. Sometimes the text speaks of the rewards made by God both for man's good and bad deeds (shilem) or of the wages paid by him for human behavior.25
The death penalty for the shedding of blood was motivated by the statement that "God made man in his own image" (Genesis 9:6). This is a reference to the father-son relationship (compare Genesis 5:3), giving rise to the avenging of the blood of any human being.
Israel has been chosen among the nations in accordance with the parental rights of tribal society, which allowed the father to elect the worthiest of his sons as his successor. God is seen in the position of a chief who judges his subordinates without being bound by the jurisdiction of a court or by rules of succession.26 At the same time his relationship toward Israel is also described as that of an owner toward his slaves. As shown by Akkadian deeds of liberation, the freedman was often adopted by his former owner and an obligation was put upon him to support the latter for life.27 Israel was liberated from the slavery of Egypt and was thus acquired and adopted by God: "For to me the people of Israel are servants, they are my servants whom I brought forth of the land of Egypt" (Leviticus 25:55).
A similar reason was given for the sanctity of the firstborn. Being spared during the plague of Egypt, they were treated as captives of God, and became temple slaves (Numbers 3:12–13; compare 31:25–27).28 This seems to be based on the rules of warfare recognized by Israel as well as by other nations.
The revelation of the Law takes the form of a covenant between overlord and vassal (Exodus 6:7; 19:5; 24). In accordance with the formulae of the extant treaties, the mutual obligations are followed by benedictions and curses.29 The original covenant was reconfirmed from time to time, by Moses in the wilderness of Moab, by Joshua at Shechem, and by King Josiah in Jerusalem. According to Deuteronomy 31:10–13, the ceremony included the public reading of the Law and was to be held every seven years.
Israel's vassalage made any individual trespass against the Law an act of rebellion, for the person concerned might in this way cause the annulment of the divine promises and the basis of Israel's existence. It was therefore the responsibility of the whole community to prevent such an act or to exclude the offenders from its midst.30
Though owner of the universe, God is said to have special rights over the people and the land of Israel. The people are his special property (segulah)31 or heritage (Deuteronomy 9:26, 29; 32:9). The same relation exists between God and the Holy Land (Exodus 15:17; Leviticus 25:23), which is then allotted to the people of Israel. The title of the individual to his property is not therefore one of full ownership but rather one of tenancy. God lets the land to the people on condition that the tithes are paid and that the land is not polluted or transferred into foreign hands.32
Legal influence upon religion is exemplified by the fact that the person living according to divine law was called righteous (ṣadiq), the term describing the successful party in a legal case. According to biblical thought, everybody was subject to divine judgment; therefore, the pious were those who could be acquitted and held to be just.
Semantics is often a good source of information on ancient legal concepts. The meaning of a term, it is true, may have changed during the history of the language and before making use of this source, we ought, therefore, to define the exact date and place of the text containing the term under consideration. Even if used in a given period, the word need not necessarily have retained its original meaning. Language, as is well known, is more conservative than its cultural contents. While institutions and ideas may have developed in the course of time, their names often remain unchanged.33
As mentioned already, we are not, unfortunately, in a position to determine the dates of biblical texts in order to find the terminus ad quem of a given expression. The fact that the oral tradition may have existed for centuries prior to the edition of scripture allows for an earlier use of the term than the time of the text, so that we cannot fix the terminus a quo. With these limitations in mind, we may nevertheless come to certain conclusions regarding the origin of law in Hebrew tradition.34
Most of the terms of justice are used as synonyms, but they cannot have had the same meaning from the beginning. We will try to dig up the earlier sense of these terms by considering the different uses of each of them.
The noun mishpaṭ is derived from the verb shafat, which in the book of Judges signifies the acts of saving, governing, and judging. These different functions have a common element, viz., the action taken in favor of a weak petitioner against his strong adversary. The shofeṭ, in the first instance, defends the right of his people against their enemies, he rules over his brethren and administers justice.35
Originally mishpaṭ seems to have been an individual decision or a right of either party. Both plaintiff and defendant claimed the mishpaṭ to be theirs, until it was rendered to the party found to be just. Besides the settlement of the dispute, the decision had another function. According to the usage known also in other systems of law, decisions were cited as precedents for similar cases. Thus, mishpaṭ came to mean a collection of casuistic laws such as Exodus 21, which was originally judge-made law, though codified at an early date. Finally, the term also denoted a person's mode of behavior, the underlying idea being that everybody behaved according to the law applicable to him.36
Ḥoq means the portion due to a person, a boundary, or law in general (also ḥuqah). This term was probably taken from the procedure in land cases, when the judge was asked to fix the boundary between neighbors. He used to do so by engraving a landmark or by digging a line in the ground. The function of the ḥoq could thus be said to be ius suum cuique tribuendi.37
The connection between law in the objective and subjective senses can be recognized also in the term din. Early sources use the term in the meaning of plea and right, while it became later a synonym for law and the administration of justice.38
The derivation of general from special norms formed perhaps the well-known noun torah, describing religious instruction and law. Originally, this instruction seems to have been limited to actual cases and to have consisted of the casting of lots (yarah). Again, in the course of time the word came to mean a collection of such decisions and finally the divine code of religious conduct.39
Various meanings also appertain to the word 'eduth, and the question has been asked as to the connection between them all. Originally, it seems, 'eduth was the evidence accompanying a covenant, which could be real, written, or oral. In the latter case each party used to recite the partner's obligations in the presence of witnesses. The admonition of the other party to keep his promise could thus be called a testimony; hence, the law came to be known by this name. Since the laws were considered part of the covenant between God and Israel, it is not surprising that they were called 'eduth.40
The terms ṣedeq, ṣedaqah, and meysharim,41 on the other hand, denote the more abstract meaning of justice and righteousness. But again, a party may speak of "his" ṣedaqah, which is much nearer to an individual decision than to a general system.42
The norms of Hebrew law, then, emerged from the activities of Hebrew judges and from the divine covenant of Mount Sinai. Though even the pentateuchal sources do not preserve the original meanings, legal terms seem to correspond to the classification of the rules, mentioned above, viz., to the apodictic and casuistic formulations.
(a) The laws, as already mentioned, were attributed to divine revelation besides which there was no other legislation on record. This was true mainly with regard to those rules formulated in the apodictic style, but the same idea applied also to the other laws included in the covenant. The right of lawmaking was not mentioned among the royal privileges; on the contrary, the king was "to keep all the words of this law and these statutes" (Deuteronomy 17:19).
Neither should the ḥoqeqim (engravers) be considered as legislators. According to Judges 5:9, 14, 15 they were war leaders, while Isaiah 10:1 used the term for judges. Both functions were indeed reserved to the rulers of the pre-monarchical period. The early sources, moreover, understood the word meḥoqeq in the sense of a scepter, symbolizing the public office of the person so described.43
From time to time there was probably need for new political and administrative rules. The commander of the army, for instance, was entitled to regulate the division of the booty (1 Samuel 30:23–25). During peacetime as well as in war the people were expected to obey the leader's commands and disobedience was punished severely (Joshua 1:18; compare 1 Samuel 14:24).44 The royal rights of taxation and the imposition of forced labor also required a minimum of legislative work. However, none of these laws were enacted in order to reform the ordinary rules of substantive law or of procedure.
(b) We have found that most legal terms originated from judge-made law, though they could be used to signify law in general. While the Pentateuch emphasizes the divine authorship of all laws, part of them may be ascribed to judicial precedents which were codified and made part of the covenant. This part included the casuistic-styled laws, collected together without the systematic reasoning of the legislator.
The rules of succession, for example, though given by divine decree, were formulated for an actual case. A certain householder had died without leaving a son and the question of his inheritance going to his daughters had been referred to God. In the course of the decision on these particular facts, the general rules of succession were laid down for the future (Numbers 27:1–11).
In the same way the division of spoil was regulated by an ad hoc decision made either by God (Numbers 31:27) or by King David (1 Samuel 30:22–25). This decision was based upon the custom of dividing the object of litigation between the parties; an easy way out for the judge. 2 Samuel 19:29, for instance, shows the application of this rule and the same idea seems to constitute the formal element of Solomon's decision (1 Kings 3:25), though its real function was psychological. All these precedents were cited in similar cases as a recognized source of law.
Even criminal justice was based on actual decisions, as is shown by the case of the son who uttered blasphemy while in a brawl (Leviticus 24:10–16) and by the case of the man who gathered sticks on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32). Both passages preserve their judicial origin, while a parallel formula in Exodus 31:14 regarding the punishment of Sabbath breakers takes the form of legislation proper. A good example of the citation of precedents in criminal pleadings is the trial of Jeremiah. On the issue whether his prophecies of disaster were punishable, one of the elders cited in favor of the accused the trial of Micah (Jeremiah 26:17–19; compare 20:2; 38:4; 2 Chronicles 24:21). A similar procedure may have been in use whenever a problem arose concerning which no express law existed.
(c) An important source of law was custom. Everybody was expected to refrain from doing things "that ought not to be done" or "which are not done" (Genesis 20:9; 29:26; 34:7; 2 Samuel 13:12). In other words, he must not violate the rules of custom. However, not every usage was considered binding; obedience was demanded only to "the way of good men" and to "the paths of the righteous" (Proverbs 2:20).
The greater part of the codified law merely restates immemorial custom or changes some particular of the accepted practice. This may be another explanation for the double meaning of mishpaṭ, mentioned above, viz., of law and custom. The law was perhaps thought to have been the source of custom, so that a given custom could be used to indicate the law in a corresponding situation.
The fact that the biblical codes had emerged out of customary law was another reason for the unsystematic arrangement of the subject matter. Originally legislation was used only where a reform was needed and where custom proved unsatisfactory. A more systematic treatment was necessary where the law codified the existing custom or was stated for didactic purposes.45
(d) Certain norms were probably derived from popular convention. Hebrew law originated from a covenant between God and Israel and it was thus implied that legal rules could be created by contract. It is true that there was no equality, the people taking the place of a vassal and God that of the overlord, but from the formal point of view, the promulgation of the law was based on consent. According to Exodus 19:8; 24:7, the people had received an offer and accepted it by saying: "All that God has spoken we will do." The same idea appears in Deuteronomy 27, when after the recital of the laws, benedictions, and curses, all the people answered "Amen."
The legislative function of the assembly must have originated in tribal society and developed before the monarchy. At that time all matters of national concern were brought up in the householders' assembly whose decisions had the force of law. Thus during the war between Benjamin and the rest of Israel, the assembly of the tribes passed a resolution forbidding intermarriage between the two factions. The decree was confirmed by a solemn oath pronounced in the sanctuary. When the rule was later felt to be out-of-date, it could not be repealed and a way had to be found to circumvent it (Judges 20–21).46
The legislative function of the assembly was probably limited by the kings, prophets, and priests, but it was still used on special occasions. The king was accepted by the people through a covenant specifying his rights and duties.47 The arrangement was probably made known to the assembly and fulfilled the function of a law.
After the exile, the ancient assembly was perhaps the only institution to replace the former political structure. Ezra 10:7–8, Nehemiah 8–10, and Esther 9:27 describe various resolutions of legislative effect that were passed by an assembly of all householders. The law, again, took the form of a covenant made binding upon all participants and their offspring. During the fourth and third centuries B.C.E., the growing size of the community rendered the assembly of all its members more and more difficult. Instead of the whole congregation, there arose the kneseth gedolah (Great Synagogue), a college of learned scribes, which took over the legis lative power of the community.48
(e) From the beginning, biblical law was subject to learned interpretation by means of which it was applied to new circumstances. Take for instance the argument between Moses and Aaron about the sin offering on the day of mourning (Leviticus 10:16–20). It is a piece of interpretation that leads the way to subsequent Talmudic exegesis.
Another form of comment on the text is the "motive clause" inserted in various laws. Some explanation was needed during the public reading of the Law, which was addressed to laymen as well as to professional jurists. This pattern has been recognized by Gemser49 in many passages, such as Exodus 20:5, 7, 11; 21:8; Deuteronomy 21:14; 23:5.
In addition to an explanation of the Law's purpose, it was felt necessary to add other comments in order to help the listener understand the Law. This was especially so after the exile when the knowledge of Hebrew was somewhat limited, owing to the use of the imperial language, Aramaic. The reading of the Law was then accompanied by an Aramaic translation including various comments on the text: "And they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading" (Nehemiah 8:8). This was the beginning of Talmudic jurisprudence: "For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of God and to do and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel" (Ezra 7:10).50
Biblical law must be considered within the framework of the history of Israel. Many of the rules actually date from the earliest period, although they were only laid down in later sources. On the basis of sociological criteria, we must ascribe them to the tribal society, which preceded the monarchy by several hundred years. On the other hand, we find legal norms that developed out of the urban society of the later kings and its new economic situations.
The question, therefore, arises whether biblical laws show an identity throughout the various stages and changes and, if so, what constituted this identity. One must also ask whether the changes in Hebrew law and society were the result of inherent factors, i.e., the powers active among the people of Israel themselves, or of external influence, by the absorption of ideas from another system and the response to its challenge.51
There are indeed various points where biblical law reaches the same solution as that found in earlier legal systems and where it even uses the same term.52 While such parallels used to be cited as proof of a common origin or of a cultural influence, some authors have been skeptical. "Comparative law," says P. Koschaker, "has taught us to expect an independent parallel development and to take it as the most reasonable explanation for the existence of similarities in various legal systems. We may assume a process of reception or influence only where it can be proved or at least be shown to be probable."53
Similarities in substantive law can be the outcome of equal conditions in social structure or dynamics. A comparison of Hebrew law with cuneiform laws shows, however, large differences, the former being much more primitive than the latter.54 If there was any reception of legal elements from the earlier and more developed systems, it probably concerned matters of form, terminology, and technique rather than ideas and substantive norms.
The individual character of Hebrew law throughout its development is shown in its relationship toward religion. Israel's social, economic, and cultural structures were deeply impressed by monotheism, which, consequently, also shaped law and custom. It is possible to show that many changes in particular rules were derived from the evolution of society. We know also that the weakening of the clan system and the urbanization under the monarchy resulted in a far-reaching assimilation of surrounding culture.55 This may have been the occasion for the reception of foreign ideas by Hebrew law. Together with the reaction of the prophets there probably existed a trend toward the restoration of Hebrew legal tradition. The emphasis placed upon the covenant with God and upon the ideas of tribal solidarity and redemption can be understood against this background.56
|Ancient Collections of|
Laws outside Israel
|Laws of Urnammu ...............................................................................2100|
|Laws of Lipit-Ishtar .............................................................................1930|
|Sumerian Laws ...................................................................................1800|
|Laws of Eshnunna ...............................................................................1770|
|Laws of Hammurabi.............................................................................1750|
|Hittite Laws (revised) ..........................................................................1300|
|Middle Assyrian Laws ...........................................................................1076|
|Neo-Babylonian Laws ............................................................................700|
|Laws of Gortyn (Crete) ...................................................................680–460|
1. Julius Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel (New York: Meridian Books, 1957); W. O. E. Oesterley and Theodore Robinson, An Introduction to the Books of the Old Testament (New York: Meridian Books, 1958), 51ff.
2. Anton Jirku, Das weltliche Recht im Alten Testament (Gütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1927).
3. Albrecht Alt, Die Ursprünge des israelitischen Rechts (Leipzig: Hirzel, 1934) (=Kleine Schriften zur Geschichte des Volkes Israel [Munich: Beck, 1953], 278–332).
4. J. P. M. van der Ploeg, "Studies in Hebrew Law: The Style of the Laws," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 12/4 (1950): 416–27; Roland de Vaux, Les institutions de l'ancien testament (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1958–60), 225, (English edition, trans. John McHugh, Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions [London: Darton, 1961]); Stanley Gevirtz, "West-Semitic Curses and the Problem of the Origins of the Hebrew Law," Vetus Testamentum 11 (1961): 137–58; R. Yaron, "Forms in the Laws of Eshnunna," Revue Internationale des Droits de l'Antiquité 9 (1962): 137–53; Rudolf Kilian, "Apodiktisches und kasuistisches Recht im Licht ägyptischer Parallelen," Biblische Zeitschrift 7 (1963): 185–202.
5. Yehezkel Kaufmann, The Religion of Israel from Its Beginnings to the Babylonian Exile, trans. and abridg. Moshe Greenberg (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960).
6. Compare Hermann Gunkel, Einleitung in die Psalmen (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1933); Otto Eissfeldt, Einleitung in das Alte Testament unter Einschluss der Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen, 2nd ed. (Tübingen: Mohr, 1956), 9–149.
7. Compare Johannes Pedersen, Israel: Its Life and Culture (London: Oxford University Press, 1926–40), 3–4:585–86; Johannes Pedersen, "Die Auffassung vom Alten Testament," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 49 (1931): 161–81; Aage Bentzen, Introduction to the Old Testament (Copenhagen: Gad, 1952), 102ff. Summaries of research may be found in Bibelwissenschaft und Grenzgebiete (Düsseldorf: Patmos, 1968). On the problems of oral tradition compare also R. C. Culley, "An Approach to the Problem of Oral Tradition," Vetus Testamentum 13 (1963): 113ff.
8. Naveh, Bulletin of the Israel Exploration Society 25 (1961): 119–28; Samuel Yeivin, "The Judicial Petition from Mezad Hashavyahu," Bibliotheca Orientalis 19 (1962): 3–10; Frank Moore Cross Jr., "Epigraphic Notes on Hebrew Documents . . . The Murabba'at Papyrus," Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 165 (1962): 34–46.
9. Arthur E. Cowley, Aramaic Papyri of the Fifth Century B.C. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1923); Emil G. Kraeling, The Brooklyn Museum Aramaic Papyri (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953) (unless otherwise indicated references are made to numbers of documents). Compare Reuven Yaron, Introduction to the Law of the Aramaic Papyri (Oxford: Clarendon, 1961), and Ze'ev W. Falk, "Testate Succession in Jewish Law," Journal of Jewish Studies 12 (1961): 165.
10. Compare Guillaume Cardascia, Les Archives des Murashû (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1951).
11. Frank Moore Cross Jr., "The Discovery of Samarian Papyri," Biblical Archaeologist 26 (1963): 110ff.
12. Victor A. Tcherikover-Fuks, Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1957).
13. Pierre Benoit, J. T. Milik, and Roland de Vaux, Les Grottes de Murabbaʿât (Oxford: Clarendon, 1961), and the report by Yigael Yadin.
14. Compare David Daube, Studies in Biblical Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1947), 1–73.
15. Compare Friedrich Horst, Gottes Recht: Gesammelte Studien zum Recht im Alten Testament (Munich: Kaiser, 1961), 260ff.; J. P. M. van der Ploeg, "Studies in Hebrew Law: The Religious Character of the Legislation," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 13/3 (1951): 164–71. Otherwise, see Arthur S. Diamond, Primitive Law: Past and Present (London: Methuen, 1950), maintaining the secular character of most ancient Hebrew law as well as of other legal systems.
16. Compare Godfrey R. Driver and John C. Miles, The Babylonian Laws (Oxford: Clarendon, 1952–55), 1:39; Ephraim Neufeld, The Hittite Laws (London: Luzac, 1951), 101; John W. Jones, The Law and Legal Theory of the Greeks (Oxford: Clarendon, 1956), 95; Max Kaser, Das ršmische Privatrecht (Munich: Beck, 1955–59), 22.
17. Compare Werner Schilling, Religion und Recht (Zurich: Europa, 1957).
18. Compare pp. 51–52, below.
19. Compare Ze'ev W. Falk, "Two Symbols of Justice," Vetus Testamentum 10 (1960): 72.
20. Compare Henri Frankfort and others, Before Philosophy (London: Pelican, 1949), 137.
21. Compare various examples of that idea in Daube, Studies in Biblical Law, and David Daube, "Rechtsgedanken in den Erzählungen des Pentateuchs," Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 77 (1958): 36.
22. Genesis Rabba 1:1.
23. Compare Daube, Studies in Biblical Law, 154ff.; Ze'ev W. Falk, "Collective Responsibility in the Bible and the Aggada" (in Hebrew), Tarbiz 30 (1961): 16; see also pp. 67–70, below.
24. Compare Samuel E. Loewenstamm, "Measure for Measure" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it (Jerusalem: Bialik, 1950), 4:231, 844; see pp. 75–77.
25. Horst, Gottes Recht, 246, 285–90; compare Daube, Studies in Biblical Law, 134ff.
26. Horst, Gottes Recht, 283; Falk, "Testate Succession," 67, and pp. 25–26.
27. Isaac Mendelsohn, Slavery in the Ancient Near East: A Comparative Study of Slavery in Babylonia, Assyria, Syria, and Palestine from the Middle of the Third Millennium to the End of the First Millennium (New York: Oxford University Press, 1949), 78.
28. Compare Pedersen, Israel, 3–4:312ff.; Elijah S. Hartum, "Firstborn" (in Hebrew), in Encyclopaedia Miqra'it 2:123; Mendelsohn, Slavery, 1ff., 99ff.
29. Compare Pedersen, Israel, 3–4:611ff.; George E. Mendenhall, "Covenant Forms in Israelite Traditions," Biblical Archaeologist 17 (1954): 50ff.; Elijah S. Hartum, "Covenant" (in Hebrew), in Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 2:347; Donald J. Wiseman, "The Vassal Treaties of Escarhaddon," Iraq 20 (1958): 1–99; Horst, Gottes Recht, 281; Yehoshua M. Grintz, Zion 26 (1961): 69ff.; Julien Harvey, "Le Rib-Pattern, Requisitoire prophetique sur la rupture de l'alliance," Biblica 43 (1962): 172–96; Charles F. Fensham, "Clauses of Protection in Hittite Vassal-Treaties and the Old Testament," Vetus Testamentum 13 (1963): 133–43 and pp. 88–89.
30. Horst, Gottes Recht, 285–86; Charles F. Fensham, "Maledictions and Benedictions in Ancient Near Eastern Vassal-Treaties and the Old Testament," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 74 (1962): 1–8; see p. 24.
31. Exodus 19:5; compare Ecclesiastes 2:8; 1 Chronicles 29:3, and the shi-ki-il-tu in Nuzi texts.
32. Compare Nuzian parallels and p. 84. Otherwise, see Horst, Gottes Recht, 279–80.
33. Compare Stephen Ullmann, Semantics: An Introduction to the Science of Meaning (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1962), 193–235.
34. On the terms of law, compare J. P. M. van der Ploeg, "Studies in Hebrew Law," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 12/3 (1950): 248–49.
35. Compare Ludwig Köhler, Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 37 (1923): 110; Adrianus van Selms, cited in Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 72 (1960): 284; Harry M. Orlinski, Oriens Antiquus 1 (1962): 13. Examples of the meanings mentioned may be found in a lexicon.
36. Compare van der Ploeg, "Studies in Hebrew Law," 248–49; Ludwig Köhler, Hebrew Man (London: SCM, 1956), 151; Werner H. Schmidt, "Das Königtum Baals," Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 80 (1961): 29ff.
37. Ze'ev W. Falk, "Hebrew Legal Terms," Journal of Semitic Studies 5 (1960): 350–54; Richard Hentschke, Satzung und Setzender: Ein Beitrag zur israelitischen Rechtsterminologie (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1963); van der Ploeg, "Studies in Hebrew Law," 248–49. Compare also Ephraim A. Speiser, "The Root pll in Hebrew," Journal of Biblical Literature 82 (1963): 310ff., showing that the term pelilah (judgment) is derived from palal (to estimate, assess). Compare "measure," which in English is a synonym for "law" or "statute."
38. Compare Codex Hammurabi using the root din; Driver and Miles, Babylonian Laws, 1:72–74; Berend Gemser, "The 'rib-' or Controversy-Pattern in Hebrew Mentality," Vetus Testamentum, Supplement 3 (1955): 125–26.
39. Compare Joachim Begrich, Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 66 (1936): 63ff.; de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 221.
40. Ze'ev W. Falk, "Form of Testimony," Vetus Testamentum 11 (1961): 88; compare van der Ploeg, "Studies in Hebrew Law," 248–49.
41. This appears also in the Codex Hammurabi; Driver and Miles, Babylonian Laws, 1:21–22.
42. Compare Psalm 69:28.
43. Falk, "Hebrew Legal Terms," 350; Hentschke, Satzung und Setzender, 11ff.; Samuel E. Loewenstamm, "Carved" (in Hebrew), in Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 4:811; see also C. Sanchez del Rio, "La teoria general del derecho en el antiguo Israel," Temis 7 (1960): 100ff.
44. Compare Tosefta Terumot 7:20.
45. Compare Hartmut Schmökel, Das angewandte Recht im Alten Testament (Leipzig: Universitätsverlag von Robert Noske, 1930); Köhler, Hebrew Man, 151.
46. Compare on the original democracy: C. Umhau Wolf, "Traces of Primitive Democracy in Ancient Israel," Journal of Near Eastern Studies 6 (1947): 98–108; Robert Gordis, Alexander Marx Jubilee Volume (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1950), 369–88; Yehoshua M. Grintz, Zion 17 (1961): 75, pointing out the similarity between the Hebrew 'edah and the Roman comitia centuriata; Jan Dus, Archiv Orientáln’ 31 (1963): 444–69.
47. See pp. 31–32, below.
48. G. Allon, Toledoth Hayehudim (Tel Aviv, 1956), 2:223ff.; George F. Moore, Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966), 33ff.; Sidney B. Hoenig, The Great Sanhedrin (Philadelphia: Dropsie College, 1953), 23ff.
49. Berend Gemser, "The Importance of the Motive Clause in Old Testament Law," Vetus Testamentum Supplement 1 (1953): 50–66.
50. Saul Lieberman, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1950), 47ff.
51. Compare Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History (London: Oxford University Press, 1934).
52. See, for example, Exodus 21:23ff. = Codex Hammurabi 196, 197, 200; Exodus 21:28ff. = Codex Hammurabi 250–51; compare Martin David, "The Codex Hammurabi and Its Relations to the Provisions of Law in Exodus," Oudtestamentische Studien 7 (1950): 149–78.
53. Paul Koschaker, "Keilschriftrecht," Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft 89 (1935): 31.
54. David, Oudtestamentische Studien, 149–78.
55. Compare Ephraim Neufeld, "The Emergence of a Royal-Urban Society in Ancient Israel," Hebrew Union College Annual 31 (1960): 38ff.
56. De Vaux, Ancient Israel, 26–27, 30–31.