Looking back, after one-and-a-half decades, to my study on Hebrew Law in Biblical Times (Jerusalem, 1964), I would like to mention later literature and later ideas on the subject that should be added to it. The page numbers in brackets in the text refer to the location in the main text where the related topics are discussed.
A number of bibliographical aids are now available to the student, of which the following should be named: the Revue historique de droit français et étranger, within the framework of its general bibliography of ancient law, include a survey of publications on biblical law as from 1963; since 1967 this survey has been complied by M. H. Prévost. S. M. Paul has published a useful bibliography of the same in J. Gilissen (ed.), Bibliographical Introduction to Legal History and Ethnology (Brussels, 1974), and in a larger version (Hebrew) at Jerusalem (Akademon, 1973). The Index of Articles on Jewish Studies, published by I. Joel, within the framework of "Kiryat Sefer," The Bibliographical Quarterly of the Jewish National and University Library (Jerusalem, 1969), also gives some data on Hebrew law, though it is by no means exhaustive. The most complete aid to scholars of Hebrew law is N. Rakover, Bibliography of Jewish Law (Jerusalem, 1975), covering publications in Hebrew; a second volume covering publications in foreign languages, hopefully, is to follow soon. Together with the bibliographical surveys mentioned already [p. x, above], these publications are useful tools for future study in the field of biblical law.
The main problem in any discussion of biblical law is, of course, the absence of definite dates in the sources, and discussion continues on the relative order of the various legal passages [1–4]. Regarding the patriarchal and pre-Mosaic era we have only a short legal passage of laws given to Noah (Genesis 9:1–7) and the narrative passages of Genesis and Exodus reflecting legal usage. Among the Pentateuchal laws we notice the pre-monarchical and agrarian background, reflecting their early date. Especially in the so-called "Book of the Covenant" little can be fixed at or after the time of kingship.1
The discussion on the apodictic and casuistic formulations [2–3] is continuing.2 However, while originally the distinction had been proposed in order to trace the origin of biblical laws, no such conclusion seems to be justified at our present state of knowledge. Both casuistic and apodictic formulations can be found outside the Bible and neither of them is necessarily connected with legal life.
The only method, therefore, to develop a history of ancient Hebrew law seems to be the legal and historical analysis of the various sources [3–4]. There may be very ancient ideas preserved in a late source3 and both the early and later phases of a norm may coexist for a while beside each other. Attention must always be paid to the sources themselves, and as long as their statement is not contradicted by positive proof, we should follow their historical concepts.
Unfortunately, we have almost no extrabiblical records to illustrate the functioning of ancient Hebrew law. Some contemporary documents, however, may help us in the understanding of the legal background to certain biblical passages. Thus the Aramaic papyri of Elephantine can be drawn upon for the deed of purchase mentioned in Jeremiah 32:11 . Likewise, the Murashu tablets, if indeed they include Jewish names, show the encounter during the Babylonian exile with neo-Babylonian law. The fact that these documents were written in Akkadian does not preclude their influence on Jewish thought and practice.
In addition to the traditional theories of biblical criticism, A. S. Diamond establishes a later criterion for dating the sources, viz., the secular versus the religious approach. In his view, the former is the early one, which was gradually replaced by the second.4 This theory seems to raise as many textual problems as it tries to answer, and may be refuted by the following arguments in favor of the religious character of Ancient law:
(1) The law is part of the covenant (Exodus 15:25; 24:3; 34:10; Joshua 24), which is an indication of its divine source. (2) In the patriarchal age, religious and legal functions were concentrated in the hands of the family chief , so that there was little occasion for separation of concepts. (3) Moses and the judges (including Deborah) were religious as well as legal functionaries. (4) The kings played a religious as well as a legal role. (5) The administration of justice was linked with the sanctuary (Deuteronomy 17:8; 23:10; 1 Kings 8:31–53). (6) The composition of the central court (Deuteronomy 17:8–13; 2 Chronicles 19:11) points to the interrelationship of law and religion. (7) The separation of secular and religious law may have been prevalent in Israel. Indeed, the Egyptian concept of ma'at, represented by the king, is based on the interdependence of law and religion. There is no more reason to ascribe the origin of Hebrew legal philosophy to the secularist pattern of Mesopotamia, or to that of Hittite law, than to the corresponding world of ideas current in Egypt.5 This does not mean that law and religion were basically the same, but that they had a common basic norm.6
Therefore, law was not the creation of kingship but rather its basis and prerequisite . The references that are usually quoted to prove the opposite are not to the point: the division of booty (1 Samuel 30:24) is the act of a military commander, not of a king; Tamar's statement regarding her marriage to her paternal brother (2 Samuel 13:12) does not so much prove the royal power of legislation as the ignorance of Leviticus 18:9; 20:16, and Deuteronomy 27:22. The claim of the woman of Tekoa does not concern a case of lawmaking but a royal pardon. The king plays indeed a judicial role and he is responsible for the administration of justice, but no rule is ascribed to him.7
The law is part of the Torah, which must be read from time to time in public to renew the religious duty of obedience . This practice has its counterpart in a royal edict of Nuzi.8
The biblical idea that the king is under the rule of law must also have had its parallels in Mesopotamian thought. There, too, the cosmic order and law had its bearing on the behavior of the king. The central idea of righteousness  may therefore also be traced in the royal name Ammi Saduqa.9
This term is an example of the possibilities lying in the study of biblical language for the knowledge of Hebrew law .10
Speaking of the legal sources [11–15] we must mention in the first place a particularity of biblical law as compared with other legal systems: law is part of the divine Torah and imposed by God on the people. The central fact of biblical legislation is the covenant of Sinai, forming the basic norm of the various duties. Other norms are ascribed to a special command from God to Moses, while in the book of Deuteronomy, Moses imposes the laws in the name of God. However, the people always take an active part in the covenant (Exodus 19:8; 24:3, 7; Joshua 24:16; 21:24; 2 Kings 23:3), so that the legislative process actually takes the form of a dialogue.11
Even the cases of judge-made law [11–12] are all connected with divine decisions; this shows, again, the union of religion and law.12
It is, therefore, peculiar that U. Cassuto, in his commentary on Exodus 21, declares consuetudo and royal legislation to be the major elements of Hebrew law; the laws of the Torah, on the other hand, are conceived by him as mere moral commandments. This theory was probably established in order to explain why rules of the Torah were disregarded at a later time, although, according to Cassuto's view, the Torah was already in existence. Thus the need for apologetics has led him to deprive the Torah of its legal character, which is perhaps a worse assertion than assuming its gradual edition.13
Indeed, unlike Urnammu, Lipit Ishtar, and Hammurabi, the kings of Israel did not prepare restatements of the law but had it copied from the text possessed by priests and Levites (Deuteronomy 17:18). The king of Israel was definitely not the legislator, not even the author of a legal text.14
Custom, it is true, was important in Israel as in other civilizations, especially where the law did not cover all spheres of life. However, it would not be in accordance with biblical sources to assume that laws on murder and other crimes did not crystallize in a legislative form.
The main interest of biblical scholars has been attracted by the identity and similarity noticeable in various passages with regard to the surrounding cultures. The problem of autonomy versus cultural dependence is indeed basic for the understanding of biblical law and religion . An example of how foreign ideas could be absorbed and then ascribed to Mosaic law is Exodus 18:13–27 and Deuteronomy 1:9–18. We may assume that other laws were likewise borrowed from the common stock of legal ideas and nevertheless included in divine legislation.15
The decisive feature of patriarchal society was certainly monotheism (Exodus 3:16; Joshua 24:2; Isaiah 51:2), not the distinct mode of legal life. Thus, the significant element in the rule of the goring ox is the prohibition of his meat (Exodus 21:28), which gives to the rules a different meaning from that of Codex Eshnunna 54–55 and Codex Hammurabi 250–52. Likewise, the ius talionis in Leviticus 24:17–22 declares the equality of the native and the sojourner as well as of the rich and the poor, while the corresponding provision in Codex Hammurabi 196ff. does not emphasize this aspect. On the other hand, Codex Hammurabi 209–10 and 229–30 allows the vicarious responsibility of the child for the father's offense, while Exodus 21:31 and Deuteronomy 24:16 deny this responsibility.
The background of biblical law is the law that was customary during the patriarchal age [23–26]. If possible, distinction should be made even in this early phase between primary and secondary institutions and norms. Thus, beside the marriage by way of payment (Genesis 34:12), there existed a marriage based on kinship, probably on the exchange of daughters between blood relations (Genesis 24). Likewise, marriage of a captive dates also from this early age, as reflected in Genesis 6:2, Deuteronomy 21:10–14, and Judges 21.
Parallels to the ancient concept of family property  can be found in a Nuzi will prohibiting the alienation of the property,16 and in the fictitious adoption to effect a sale.17 Sales of land must have been exceptional so that there was no need for a deed or any other writing (Genesis 23:17–20; 33:19–20; Ruth 4:7; 1 Chronicles 21:24–25).
Likewise, the development after the settlement [26–29] can be traced in the pentateuchal legal passages.18 No assumption should, however, be made that development took place in a straight line. According to the Pentateuch, unity was achieved under Moses, Joshua, and the elders, then centrifugal forces prevailed until the establishment of the monarchy.19
An example of the development is the transfer of judicial powers from the local assembly to the local elders. At the trial of Jeremiah, the people at large are involved .20 In most cases, however, the right of speech had become limited to the elders, representing all the rest of the people. The same process may be traced in other cultures.21
The development of later Hebrew law depended, of course, on the attitude of the ruler and his willingness to grant the Jews autonomy and self-government. The legislative policy of Darius was inclined to allow Hebrew law to be applied and developed .22 The liberal attitude toward the Jews, therefore, was just one example of the general tolerance of the Persian rulers.
Judicial appointments and functions were always closely linked to the king of the day .23 The divine participation in the judicial process expressed itself in the use of oaths and curses [50–52].24 Among the formulae of oaths, the expression "to do good"  has its counterpart in Tosefta Sehvu'ot 2:15, and is similar to the formula mentioning the life of a person, e.g., the king.25
The forensic term todah, meaning confession, has also the sense of praise and thanksgiving [52–55]. The common element in both expressions is the idea that praise to God means that God has given man more than is due to him (compare Genesis 32:11 and Judges 5:11). Likewise, an accused person confessing his guilt, thereby justified the sentence and praised justice.
Two forms of divine26 intervention in the judicial process are the Urim and Thummim and the trial by battle.27 The main object of the procedure is the prevention of private action by the law . Biblical law limits the right of levying distress on the debtor's property, just as Babylonian law prohibited it.28 Likewise, the rules of asylum prevented private vengeance.29
A source of information on procedure and law may be found in some of the prophetic discourses using forensic situations by way of metaphor.30 The rules of evidence [59–60] were meant to prevent any doubt or future dispute, but inscriptions and deeds were not common in Israel unless written for religious purposes.31
A significant element of Hebrew legal procedure was the effort to convince the guilty party, so as to stabilize the situation and prevent further contention . This is the idea underlying two parables.32 This technique is therefore similar to the Babylonian undertaking not to open a certain case again.33
However, the unsuccessful party was not asked to pay the costs. In Nuzi he sometimes had to render an ox as costs.34 Perhaps this is the background to the assertion made by the righteous judge in Israel in Numbers 16:15 and 1 Samuel 12:3.
Unlike modern Western law, the legal system of the ancient Hebrews was based on the idea of collective responsibility [67–70].35 However, the extradition of Saul's descendants to the Gibeonites (2 Samuel 21:1–19) does not necessarily prove the practical application of this idea, but could be taken as an idea introduced from outside.36
While Babylonian and Hittite laws permitted the practice of paying blood-money instead of suffering capital punishment, this practice was prohibited by Numbers 35:31–32 and Deuteronomy 19:13 [69–70]. The early practice seems to have been in favor of this payment, just as in the case of death caused by negligence (Exodus 21:30), it was considered to be appropriate.
Among the capital crimes is kidnapping .37 The violation of property rights, on the other hand, was not a serious offense, the reason being the comparatively late notion of private property. On this point Hebrew law still represents the ancient tribal system, regarding the family as the owner of property.38
A significant element of biblical law is the rule of talion , which could, however, be excluded by payment of a ransom.39 Another particularity of biblical law is the prevalence of capital punishment.40 For less heinous offenses corporal punishment was afflicted.41 However, on certain occasions the curse was the sanction falling upon the transgressor, and the belief in its terrible consequence seems to have had a practical effect.42
In most disputes the judges would impose mere payment of compensation .43 An example is the rule of the goring ox.44 Even in cases of larceny and robbery the private rather than the criminal character of the act prevailed.45
The law of property [83–85] starts among the Hebrews with the notion of inheritance.46 Among the most ancient data of legal practice is the description of the acquisition by Abraham of the Cave of Machpelah.47
Private property was limited by various duties toward the needy, such as the wayfarer [85–87].48 Another limitation was the rule that the Hebrew servant must be released after six years of work. When the notion of private property became more prevalent and family solidarity weakened, the release of servants became illustory and had to be specially imposed by King Zedekiah .49
A special problem must have arisen when the Hebrew carried on negotiations and made contracts with people of a different legal tradition [87–91]. In order to give effect to an acquisition of property they must have followed the proper law of the seller. Still it seems that they did not, for a long time, make use of documents, although this was customary in the area. Contracts were mainly of the barter category.52 In spite of the fact that the patriarchs definitely came into contact with a written legal system53 they seem to have reverted back to the custom of preliterate nomad society. Therefore, in Hebrew law mention is made of documents of transfer only at a late stage. The use of writing for legal and administrative purposes was probably introduced during the monarchy by professional scribes.54 Writing for religious purposes, especially to preserve the Torah, was, however, customary from an early date.
Since the ordinary contract took place in an oral form, the gestures expressing the agreement became important . The use of the shoe, for instance, has its counterpart in the use of the garment in Nuzi.55 When documents were mentioned with regard to divorce and transfer of land , they were probably similar to Cuneiform and Aramaic deeds. Thus, the double text, customary in the area,56 may be presumed to have been used in the case of Jeremiah 32:11. Another limitation on the right of private property is the release of interest .57
The law of surety is an interesting example of the existence of a body of legal rules outside the legal texts of the Bible [93–97].58 A contract that is both covered in the legal and the narrative portions of the Pentateuch is that of shepherding .59
The status of women in biblical law [109–11] must be understood as a reaction against the worship of female goddesses and the role of women in fertility cults.60
Hebrew law is basically a system of personal law, distinguishing between citizens and foreigners [112–14]. The legal systems of the Babylonian and Assyrian states, on the other hand, applied to all present within their boundaries. But even there the class distinctions may have had their origin in the distinction between citizens and foreigners. In Hebrew law, too, distinction must be made between the nokhri, the stranger living in the country for a while, the ger, having permanent residence therein, and the toshav, who seems to have been in the employment and under the special protection of a citizen. Special moral protection was accorded to the second of these categories.61 The ethical elements of Hebrew law are represented in the status of slaves [114–18].62
The impact of the patriarchal age on Hebrew law is felt mostly in the field of family structure [123–31].63 Beside legal marriage there existed the possibility of concubinage [126–27].64 While the Hebrew family structure was polygynous, monogamy could be imposed by contract [127–28]. A parallel is Alalaḥ 91, 93. We may also use the allegory of Ezekiel 16:8 as a source of marriage. True, it refers to the covenant between God and the patriarchs, but it would not have been understandable if it did not correspond with the ordinary marriage ceremony.
Marriage was composed of two elements: the real one corresponding to the purchase of goods, and the ideal one, expressed by a special formula [135–45].65 Corresponding with biblical mohar  is Babylonian and Assyrian tirhâtu.66 The term mattan corresponds with Babylonian and Assyrian nudunnu.67 Unfortunately the rules of divorce are mentioned in the legal passages only en passant [150–53].68 The act of "cutting asunder"  has its counterpart in Nuzi sissikta bataqu.69 Judges 19:2 may be an indication of the greater freedom granted to a concubine, as existed also in Greek and Roman society.70
Among the rules of the widow, mention must be made of the queen-mother [153–54].71 According to the patriarchal system, the father negotiated the marriage for his son. However, sons became emancipated at quite an early phase and hence could contract a marriage by themselves .72
Another institution not mentioned in the legal passages but nevertheless existing in custom was adoption [166–67].73 The integration of legal rules in narratives can be seen in the rules of succession .74
Thus, the study of Hebrew law on whatever subject should indeed start with the most ancient sources, taking into consideration other oriental laws and the growing literature of legal and historical analysis.
1. Mention should be made here of the studies of F. Charles Fensham, "Aspects of Family Law in the Covenant Code in Light of Ancient Near Eastern Parallels," Diné Israel 1 (1969): 5–19, and Shalom M. Paul, "The Patriarchate in the Light of the Nuzi Documents" (in Hebrew), Diné Israel 2 (1970): 23–28, as well as of the latter's Studies in the Book of Covenant (Leiden: Brill, 1970).
2. Of the greater number of publications, mention should be made of Erhard Gerstenberger, Wesen und Herkunft des apodiktischen Rechts (Neukirchen: Neukirchener, 1965); Herbert Petschow, "Zu den Stilformen antiker Gesetze und Rechtssammlungen," Journal of Semitic Studies 10 (1965): 24–38, and Moshe Weinfeld, "The Origin of the Apodictic Law: An Overlooked Source," Vetus Testamentum 23 (1973): 63–75.
3. Compare Ephraim A. Speiser, "Leviticus and the Critics," in Yehezkel Kaufmann Jubilee Volume, ed. Menachem Haran (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1960), 29–45.
4. Arthur S. Diamond, Primitive Law, Past and Present (London: Methuen, 1971).
5. Ze'ev W. Falk, "Two Symbols of Justice," Vetus Testamentum 10 (1960): 72.
6. On the distinction of terms, see Ze'ev W. Falk, "'Words of God' and 'Judgments,'" in Studi E. Volterra 6 (1972): 155–59. And on the basic unity of law and religion in biblical thought, see Jacob J. Finkelstein, "Justice in the Ancient East" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 5:558–618.
7. Compare Jacob Liver, "King" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 4:1092; Samuel E. Loewenstamm, "Convocation Law" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 5:620–28.
8. See Ephraim A. Speiser and Robert H. Pfeiffer, "One Hundred New Selected Nuzi Texts," Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research 16 (1936): 109; compare Moshe Weinfeld, "Reading Scriptures in Synagogue" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 7:265–67.
9. Compare Fritz R. Kraus, Ein Edikt des Königs Ammi Saduqa von Babylon (Leiden: Brill, 1958); Jacob Licht, "Justice" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 6:683.
10. Compare on this point, Hans J. Boecker, Redeformen des Rechtslebens des Alten Testament (Neukirchen: Neukircherner, 1964); Isaac L. Seeligman, "Zur Terminologie für das Gerichtsverfarhren im Wortschatz des biblischen Hebraisch," Vetus Testamentum Supplement 16 (1967): 251–78; Ze'ev W. Falk, "Hebrew Legal Terms: II," Journal of Semitic Studies 12 (1967): 241–44; Ze'ev W. Falk, "Hebrew Legal Terms: III," Journal of Semitic Studies 14 (1969): 39–44; Ze'ev W. Falk, "On Legal Terms" (in Hebrew), Sinai 77 (1975): 17–21; Loewenstamm, "Convocation Law," 5:614–37. On the term shofet, see "Ruler and Judge" (in Hebrew), Leshonenu 30 (1966): 243–47; Tokuya Ishida, "Judge" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 7:577–83.
11. On the function of the covenant in Hebrew law, see George E. Mendenhall, Law and Covenant in Israel and the Ancient Near East (Pittsburgh: Biblical Colloquium, 1955).
12. Compare W. H. Snaith, "The Daughters of Zelophehad," Vetus Testamentum 16 (1966): 124–27; Jacob Weingren, "The Case of the Daughters of Zelophehad," Vetus Testamentum 16 (1966): 518–22; Jacob Weingreen, "The Case of the Woodgatherer (Numbers XV. 32–36)," Vetus Testamentum 16 (1966): 361–64; Anthony Philipps, "The Case of the Woodgatherer Reconsidered," Vetus Testamentum 19 (1969): 125–28.
13. See also Loewenstamm, "Convocation Law," 5:620–28.
14. Compare Finkelstein, "Justice in the Ancient East," 5:610–14.
15. As to this process, see Ze'ev W. Falk with Reuven Yaron, "The Laws of Eshnunna," Biblica 51 (1970): 130–33; Finkelstein, "Justice in the Ancient East," 5:609; and Bernard S. Jackson, "The Problem of Exodus 21:22–25 (Ius Talionis)," Vetus Testamentum 23 (1973): 273–304.
16. See Ephraim A. Speiser, "New Kirkuk Documents Relating to Family Laws," Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research 10 (1930): 20.
17. Ibid., 13ff. As to Naboth's vineyard, compare Klaus Baltzer, "Naboths Weinberg (1.Kön.21). Der Konflikt zwischen israelitischem und kanaanaischem Bodenrecht," Wort und Dienst 7 (1965): 73–88; Francis I. Anderson, "The Socio-Juridicial Background of the Naboth Incident," Journal of Biblical Literature 85 (March 1966): 46–57.
18. Compare, for example, Ze'ev W. Falk, "Sociological Notes on Deuteronomy" (in Hebrew), Diné Israel 3 (1972): 37–43.
19. Compare Samuel E. Loewenstamm, "Moses" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 5:482–95; Moshe D. Cassuto, "Joshua, Son of Nun" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 3:542–43; Jacob Liver, "People, Nation" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 6:235–39; H. Raviv, "Organization of the Tribes of Israel" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 7:494–97; Yair Zakovich and Samuel E. Loewenstamm, "Book of Judges" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 7:583–98.
20. Compare F. Lothar Hossfeld and I. Meyer, "Der Prophet vor dem Tribunal. Neuer Auslegungsversuch von Jeremiah 26," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 86 (1974): 30–50.
21. Compare, for instance, Alalaḥ 2.
22. On this policy, see Eduard Meyer, Kleine Schriften (Halle: Niemeyer, 1924), 2:94ff.; Albert T. Olmstead, "Darius as Lawgiver," American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literature 51 (1935): 247–49; E. Bresciani, Studi Classici e Orientali 7 (1958): 153ff.; Richard Frye, "Laws and Justice" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 6:601; and the central exhibit in the Shayad Monument, Teheran.
23. Compare Alalaḥ 7; Georges Boyer, Archives Royales de Mari (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1958), 8:238; Finkelstein, "Justice in the Ancient East," 5:609–10; J. P. M. van der Ploeg, "Les Juges en Israel," Volume Card. Ottaviani (1969), 1:463–507; Georg C. Macholz, "Die Stellung des Königs in der israelitischen Gerichtsverfassung," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 84 (1972): 157–82; "Zur Geschichte der Justizorganisation in Juda," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 85 (1973): 314–40.
24. Compare D. R. Hillers, Treaty Curses and the Old Testament Prophets (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1964); W. Schottroff, Der altisraelitische Fluchspruch (Neukirchen: Neukirchener, 1968); Manfred R. Lehmann, "Biblical Oaths," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 81 (1969): 74–92; Samuel E. Loewenstamm, "Oath" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 7:479–91.
25. For a Babylonian parallel, see Boyer, Archives Royales de Mari, 8:172ff.
26. Compare Falk, "On Legal Terms," 17–21.
27. Compare Ze'ev W. Falk, "Legal Archaeology," Jura 17 (1966): 167–70; F. Charles Fensham, "Ordeal by Battle in the Ancient Near East and the Old Testament," Studi Volterra 6 (1969): 127–35; F. Charles Fensham, "The Battle between the Men of Joab and Abner as a Possible Ordeal by Battle?" Vetus Testamentum 20 (1970): 356.
28. Compare Boyer, Archives Royales de Mari, 8:230.
29. Compare L. Delekat, Asylie und Schutzorakel am Zionheiligtum (Leiden: Brill, 1967); Jacob Licht, "Vengeance" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 5:917–21.
30. See Julien Harvey, Le Plaidoyer Prophétique contre Israël après la Rupture de l'Alliance (Montreal, 1967); James Limburg, "The Root R-I-B and the Prophetic Lawsuit Speeches," Journal of Biblical Literature 88 (1969): 291–304.
31. Compare Gene M. Tucker, "Witnesses and 'Dates' in Israelite Contracts," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 28 (1996): 42–45; Ze'ev W. Falk, "Oral and Written Testimony," Jura 19 (1968): 113–19; Bruno Volkwein, "Masoretisches edut, edwot, edot: 'Zeugnis' oder 'Bundesbestimmungen'?" Biblische Zeitschrift 13 (1969): 18–40; Samuel E. Loewenstamm, "Evidence" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 6:81. On the papyri, compare E. Volterra, "Sulla redazione dei contratti nell'antico diritto ebraico [Gen. 23, Jer. 32, Ruth 4]," Synteleia Arangio Ruiz (1964): 1190–97, and on Exodus 22:2 compare John W. McKay, "Exodus 23:1–3, 6–8: A Decalogue for the Administation of Justice in the City Gate," Vetus Testamentum 21 (1971): 311–25.
32. Compare Uriel Simon, "The Poor Man's Ewe-Lamb: An Example of a Juridicial Parable," Biblica (1967): 207–42.
33. Compare Alalaḥ 7; Boyer, Archives Royales de Mari, 8:241, and documents from Nuzi.
34. Compare Speiser and Pfeiffer, "One Hundred New Selected Nuzi Texts," 71.
35. Compare Ze'ev W. Falk, "Collective Responsibility in the Bible and the Aggada" (in Hebrew), Tarbiz 30 (1961): 16–20; "Merits of the Father in Ezekiel" (in Hebrew), Bet Miqra 17 (1972): 393–97. P. Maon, Responsabilité et Culpabilité Solidaires dans les Très Anciennes Institutions Bibliques (Louvain, 1964); Anthony Phillips, Ancient Israel's Criminal Law (Oxford: Blackwell, 1970); H. Eberhard von Waldow, "Social Responsibility and Social Structure in Early Israel," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 32 (1970): 182–204.
36. Compare Babylonian Talmud Yebamot 79a; Loewenstamm, "Convocation Law," 5:630. On criminal responsibility in Babylonian law, see W. Nörr, "Zum Schuldgedanken im altbabylonischen Strafrecht," Zeitschrift für Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Romanistische Abteilung 75 (1958): 1–31; and on the liability for damage caused by an animal in Babylonian and Hebrew law, see Adrianus van Selms, "The Goring Ox in Babylonian and Biblical Law," Archiv Orientalni 18 (1950): 321–30.
37. Discussed by Albrecht Alt, Kleine Schriften 2, 1:333ff.
38. Compare Finkelstein, "Justice in the Ancient East," 5:613; Bernard S. Jackson, Theft in Early Jewish Law (Oxford: Clarendon, 1972).
39. On the idea in general, see Pinchas Doron, "A New Look at an Old Lex [Lex Talionis]," Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society of Columbia University 1/2 (1969): 21–27.
40. For comparison, see Codex Eshnunna 26; Codex Hammurabi 1; and see Edwin M. Good, "Capital Punishment and Its Alternatives in Ancient Near Eastern Law," Stanford Law Review 19 (1967): 947–77; Paul Rémy, "La Condition de la Femme dans les Codes du Proche-Orient et les Codes d'Israels," Sciences Ecclésiastiques 19 (1967): 323–50; Hermann Schulz, "Das Todesrecht im Alten Testament," Beiheft zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 114 (1969).
41. Compare Richard Haase, "Körperliche Strafen in den altorientalischen Rechtssammlungen. Ein Beitrag zum altorientalischen Strafrecht," Revue Internationale des Droits de l'Antiquité 10 (1963): 55–75.
42. See Willy Schottroff, Der altisraelitische Fluchspruch (Neukirchen: Neukirchener, 1969).
43. Compare Gillis Gerleman, " Die Wurzel šlm," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 85 (1973): 1–14.
44. See Reuven Yaron, "The Goring Ox in Near Eastern Laws," Israel Law Review 1 (1966): 396–406.
45. See Jackson, Theft in Early Jewish Law.
46. A parallel of which may be found in Boyer, Archives Royales de Mari, 8:191ff.
47. See B. Perrin, "Trois textes bibliques sur les techniques d'acquisition [Gen. 23; Ruth 4; Jer. 32:8–15]," Revue Histoire du Droit Française et Etranger 41 (1963): 5–19, 177–195, 387–417; Jean-Philippe Lévy, Mélanges Philippe Meylan (Lausanne: Université, Faculté de Droit, 1963), 157ff.; and P. Maon, Dictionnaire de la Bible, suppl. 47:1337–53; Herbert Petschow, "Die neubabylonische Zweigesprachsurkunde und Genesis 23," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 19 (1965): 103–20; Gene M. Tucker, "The Legal Background of Genesis 23," Journal of Biblical Literature 85 (1966): 77–84; Loewenstamm, "Convocation Law," 5:617–18.
48. Compare Speiser and Pfeiffer, "One Hundred New Selected Nuzi Texts," 76.
49. Compare Martin Kessler, " The Law of Manumission in Jer 34," Biblische Zeitschrift 15/1 (1971): 105–8.
50. For a parallel, see Alalaú 2, 3, and on covenant, see Mendenhall, Law and Covenant in Israel and the Ancient Near East; Klaus Baltzer, Das Bundesformular (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1971); Dennis J. McCarthy, Old Testament Covenant (Oxford: Blackwell, 1972); Dennis J. McCarthy, Treaty and Covenant (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1963).
51. Compare Boyer, Archives Royales de Mari, 8:195; and see Falk, "Oral and Written Testimony," 113–19. As to the formulation of conditions, see Ze'ev W. Falk, "On Conditions in Hebrew Law," in Etudes offertes à Jean Macqueron (Aix-en-Provence, 1970), 297–99.
52. On qesitah as a means of payment, compare I. Rabinowitz, "Piece of Money" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 7:282.
53. Compare the documents of Alalaḥ, Nuzi, Mari, and Ugarit, and Godfrey R. Driver and John C. Miles, The Babylonian Laws (Oxford: Clarendon, 1952–55), 1:84.
54. See Moshe Cassuto and Jacob Licht, "Writing" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 4:372–77.
55. Compare Speiser and Pfeiffer, "One Hundred New Selected Nuzi Texts," 32; Abraham Malamat, Vetus Testamentum Supplement 15 (1965): 225. On the function of witnesses, see Loewenstamm, "Evidence," 6:81.
56. Compare Mariano San Nicole, Beiträge zur Rechtsgeschichte im Bereiche der keilschriftlichen Rechtsquellen (Oslo: Aschelhoug, 1931), 124; Boyer, Archives Royales de Mari, 8:159–60; Reuven Yaron, Introduction to the Law of the Aramaic Papyri (Oxford: Clarendon, 1961), 24.
57. For parallels see Alalaḥ 29, 42; Samuel E. Loewenstamm, "Neshekh and T/Marbit," Journal of Biblical Literature 88 (1969): 78–80; Hillel Gamoran, "The Biblical Law against Loans on Interest," Journal of Near Eastern Studies 30 (1971): 127–34; Robert P. Maloney, "Usury and Restrictions on Interest-Taking in the Ancient Near East," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 36 (1974): 1–20.
58. On the term, compare Jean Nougayrol, Palais Royal d'Ugarit (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1955), 3:306 (hereafter PRU); and generally see Ze'ev W. Falk, "On Suretyship in Hebrew Law," Recherches Société J. Bodin 28 (1972): 18–26; Samuel E. Loewenstamm, "Surety" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 6:367–70. On the delivery of a child as security, compare Alalaú 18ff., 48–49; Boyer, Archives Royales de Mari, 8:199, 219; Speiser and Pfeiffer, "One Hundred New Selected Nuzi Texts," 24ff. On the delivery of the debtor's wife as security, see Boyer, Archives Royales de Mari, 8:221. On the guarantee of appearance compare Ugarit 1581 (PRU 305); Boyer, Archives Royales de Mari, Alalaḥ 82ff.; Boyer, Archives Royales de Mari, 8:224.
59. Compare Jacob J. Finkelstein, "An Old Babylonian Herding Contract and Genesis 31:38f," Journal of the American Oriental Society 88 (1968): 30–36.
60. On that status, see Rémy, "La Condition de la Femme," 107–27, 291–320; Anthony Phillips, "Some Aspects of Family Law in Pre-exilic Israel," Vetus Testamentum 23 (1973): 349–61; Ze'ev W. Falk, "Die Stellung der Frau in der Halakhah," Freiburger Rundbrief 25 (1973): 206–11; a critical feminist statement is Leonard J. Swidler, Women in Judaism (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow, 1976).
61. See Leviticus 19:33–34; Moshe Weinfeld, "Foreigner" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 5:866–67. On the status of the Gibeonites, see F. Charles Fensham, "The Treaty between Israel and the Gibeonites," Biblical Archaeologist 27 (1964): 96; Joseph Blenkinsopp, "Are There Traces of the Gibeonite Covenant in Deuteronomy?" Catholic Biblical Quarterly 28 (1966): 207.
62. See W. Starck, Die Sklaverei im Spiegel der altorientalischen und alttestamentlichen Gesetzgebung (Vienna, 1965); Isaac Mendelsohn and Shmuel Ahitov, "Slavery" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 6:1–13. On temple slavery, see Menahem Haran, "Temple Slaves" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 5:983–86; Baruch A. Levine, "Servants of Solomon" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 6:25–26. On the Hebrew slave, see Samuel E. Loewenstamm, "Jewish Slave" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 6:13–14. For parallels to the sale of Hebrew daughters, see Speiser, "New Kirkuk Documents," 25–26; on liberation by dedication, see Alalaḥ 15; Boyer, Archives Royales de Mari, 8:237; and on liberation in general, see Speiser and Pfeiffer, "One Hundred New Selected Nuzi Texts," 25, 40. On the extradition of a slave, see Alalaḥ 2.
63. See Jacob Liver, "Extended Family" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 5:582–88; Anson F. Rainey, "Family Relationships in Ugarit," Orientalia 34 (1965): 10–22; and compare Ze'ev W. Falk, "Marriage" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 5:857–63.
64. See Ze'ev W. Falk, "Concubine" (in Hebrew), Encyclopaedia Miqra'it, 6:456. For a parallel to the "appointment" of the Hebrew bondwoman, see Alalaú 92 and the sale ana kallûti, A. Van Praag, Droit Matrimonial Assyro-Babylonien (Amsterdam: Noord-Hollandsche, 1945), 82–83, 117–18. For parallels to the taking of Hagar, Bilhah, and Zilpah , see Ugarit 16267 (PRU 229); John van Seters, "The Problems of Childlessness in Near Eastern Law and the Patriarchs of Israel," Journal of Biblical Literature 87 (1968): 401–8. On the exclusion of various categories from connubium, see Ze'ev W. Falk, "Those Excluded from the Congregation" (in Hebrew), Bet Miqra 62 (1975): 341–51.
65. On the former, see Paul Koshaker, "Eheschliessung und Kauf nach alten Rechten, mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der älteren Keilschriftrechte," Archiv Orientalni 18 (1950): 210–96; Driver and Miles, Babylonian Laws, 1:254ff.; on the latter, D. Nörr, "Zum Schuldgedanken im altbabylonischen Strafrecht," Zeitschrift für Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Romanistische Abteilung 78 (1961): 118ff. The concept of "sistership"  appears in Nuzi, see Speiser, "New Kirkuk Documents," 21ff.; Speiser, "The Wife-Sister Motif in the Patriarchal Narratives," Biblical and Other Studies 1 (1963): 15–28; David Noel Freedman, "A New Approach to the Nuzi Sistership Contract," Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society of Columbia University 2/2 (1970): 77–85. On the form and meaning of the covenant, compare Th. C. Vriesen, "Das hiphel von amar in Deut. 26, 17–18," Ex Oriente Lux Jahrbericht 17 (1964): 210.
66. See van Praag, Droit matrimonial, 128.
67. Compare Speiser, "New Kirkuk Documents," 23–24. See also Werner Plautz, Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 77 (1964): 298–318; and compare Falk, "Legal Archaeology," 172ff.; Tel-Aviv University Law Review 3 (1974): 829ff. On the rabbinical term qanah [137–38] see, however, David Weiss, "The Use of 'קנת' in Connection with Marriage," Harvard Theological Review 51 (1964): 244–48. Regarding the use of a written marriage deed , see Alalaḥ 91ff. On the marriage of Isaac  see M. Wolfgang Roth, "The Wooing of Rebekah: A Tradition-Critical Study of Genesis 24," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 34 (1972): 177–87. As to the term haya le . . . le'ishah, compare Babylonian Talmud Qiddushin 5a, Nedarim 67b. On the complaint of Laban's daughters , see Driver and Miles, Babylonian Laws, 1:271ff. For the term companion, see Ze'ev W. Falk, "Über die Ehe in den biblischen Propheten," Zeitschrift für Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Romanistische Abteilung 40 (1973): 36–44; and for htn, T. C. Mitchell, "The Meaning of the Noun HTN in the Old Testament," Vetus Testamentum 19 (1969): 93–112.
68. Compare A. Toeg, "Does Deuteronomy XXIV, 1–4 Incorporate a General Law on Divorce?" Diné Israel 2 (1970): 524; Ulrich Nembach, "Ehescheidung nach Alttestamentlichem und jüdischem Recht," Theologische Zeitschrift 26 (1970): 161–71; on Egyptian divorce, A. Théorides, "La Repudiation de la Femme en Egypte et dans les Droits Orientaux Anciens," Bulletin de la Société français d'Egyptologie 47 (1966): 6–19.
69. See Speiser and Pfeiffer, "One Hundred New Selected Nuzi Texts," 32. On remarriage after divorce, see Reuven Yaron, "The Restoration of Marriage," Journal of Jewish Studies 17 (1966): 1–11; James D. Martin, "The Forensic Background to Jeremiah III:1, Vetus Testamentum 19 (1969): 89–92; T. R. Hobbes, "Jeremiah 3:1–5 and Deuteronomy 24:1–4," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 86 (1974): 23–29. On the "custom of the daughters" , see Shalom M. Paul, "Ex. 21:10. A Threefold Maintenance Clause," Journal of Near Eastern Studies 28 (1969): 48–53, and Ze'ev W. Falk, The Divorce Action of the Wife in Jewish Law (in Hebrew) (Jerusalem, 1973).
70. On the woman's right to divorce, see also Alalaḥ 92; Ugarit 1641 (PRU 301).
71. Compare Herbert Donner, Festschrift J. Friedrich (Heidelberg, 1959), 105ff. On Naomi's rights to her late husband's estate [151–52], see Thomas and Dorothy Thompson, "Some Legal Problems in the Book of Ruth," Vetus Testamentum 18 (1968): 79–99; and on the levirate, see George W. Coats, "Widow's Rights: A Crux in the Structure of Genesis 38," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 34 (1972): 461–66; B. N. Wambacq, "Le mariage de Ruth," Mélanges E. Tisserant 1 (1964): 449–59. On the "loosening of the sandal," see the above-mentioned sissikta bataqu, and Middle Assyrian Laws A31, Palais Royal d'Ugarit; 1 Q 44: 76, 300.
72. Compare Otto Eissfeldt, "Sohnespflichten im Alten Orient," Syria 43 (1966): 39–47.
73. On this subject, see Nörr, Zeitschrift für Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte 78, 118ff.; Falk, "Legal Archaeology," 170ff.; M. H. Prévost, "Remarques sur l'Adoption dans la Bible," Revue Internationale des Droits de l'Antiquité 14 (1967): 69–77; Herbert Donner, "Adoption oder Legitimation? Erwägungen zur Adoption im Alten Testament auf dem Hintergrund der altorientalischen Rechte," Oriens Antiquus 8 (1969): 87–119; Hans J. Boecker, "Anmerkungen zur Adoption im Alten Testament," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 86 (1974): 86. For comparison, see Alalaḥ 16; Ugarit 1592, 16294, 16200, 16344 (PRU 302ff); Boyer, Archives Royales de Mari, 8:178ff.; Speiser, "New Kirkuk Documents," 7ff.
74. On succession in general, see J. Brugmann et al., Essays in Oriental Laws of Succession (Leiden: Brill, 1969). For comparison regarding testamentary disposition , see Alalaú 6, Ugarit 16129 (PRU 305); and Speiser, "New Kirkuk Documents," 18ff. On primogeniture , see Joseph P. Henniger, "Zum Erstgeborenenrecht bei den Semiten," in Festschrift W. Caskel (Leiden, 1968), 162–83; compare Speiser, "New Kirkuk Documents," 10; Boyer, Archives Royales de Mari, 8:181; Middle Assyrian Laws B1. As to the rights of widows and daughters , compare Ze'ev W. Falk, "The Inheritance of the Daughter and the Widow in the Miqra and in the Talmud," Tarbiz 28 (1952): 9–15; Codex Hammurabi 172; Ugarit 16267, 16250, 8145 (PRU 302).