According to Bright, however, there is an important

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According to Bright, however, there is an important

Post by jancancook on Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:15 pm

According to Bright, however, there is an important distinction between the Decalogue and the "Book of the Covenant" (Exodus 21-23 and 34:10-24). The Decalogue, he argues, was modeled on the suzerainty treaties of the Hittites (and other Mesopotamian Empires), that is, represents the relationship between God and Israel as a relationship between king and vassal, and enacts that bond.[19] Viewed as a treaty rather than a law code, its purpose is not so much to regulate human affairs as to define the scope of the king's power.[20] Julius Morgenstern argued that Exodus 34 is distinct from the Jahwist document, identifying it with king Asa's reforms in 899 BCE.".[12] Bright, however, believes that like the Decalogue this text has its origins in the time of the tribal alliance. The Book of the Covenant, he notes, bears a greater similarity to Mesopotamian law codes (e.g. the Code of Hamurabi). He argues that the function of this "book" is to move from the realm of treaty to the realm of law: "The Book of the Covenant (Ex., chs. 21 to 23; cf. ch. 34), which is no official state law, but a description of normative Israelite judicial procedure in the days of the Judges, is the best example of this process." According to Bright, then, this body of law too predates the monarchy.[21]

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