By John Van Seters

The basis for all examine of biblical legislation is the idea that the Covenant Code is the oldest criminal code within the Hebrew Bible and that each 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 actually later than either one of those, and hence cannot be taken because the origin of Hebrew legislations.

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Additional info for A Law Book for the Diaspora: Revision in the Study of the Covenant Code

Sample text

Thus, in the case of a medical treatise, observations will be made concerning certain symptoms of illness in a conditional protasis clause, with a verdict or judgment on the person’s condition in the apodosis. The same form of protasis and apodosis is used for many other scientific and technical subjects in which observations may be made and conclusions drawn, based upon empirical observation and the test of experience. The subjects of such encyclopedic, or list, science are also arranged into units and “chapters,” with the result that various collections become a set of highly organized treatises.

The whole reconstruction of the Covenant Code’s compositional development rests upon the claim for the antiquity of the privilege law in Exod 34 and with it the parenetic elements that have been so often viewed as Deuteronomistic. A review of this issue and those studies that make use of the notion of a “privilege law” has been undertaken by E. ”35 If one removes the similarities between Exod 34 and the Covenant Code as a way of determining the oldest level of the Covenant Code and the subsequent development of this nucleus, then there is little left of Halbe’s scheme.

How then can it be used for an earlier period? This is not evidence but supposition. Furthermore, the claim that “the Mishpatim and the legisla- 26 A Law Book for the Diaspora tion attacked in Isa 10:1–4 are probably identical”74 may also be questioned. The prophetic text makes reference to “unjust laws” and “oppressive edicts,” but it is sheer speculation to suggest that these refer to the Covenant Code. Like Osumi, Crüsemann’s view of the formation of the Covenant Code is that it consists of the laws that are drawn from Exod 34:11–26 on the exclusive veneration of Yahweh and that originate in the Northern tradition (ninth century) and the laws of the social elite from the Jerusalem court as reflected in the mishpatim (ninth centuty), together with the prophetic demands for social justice and the rights of foreigners and the poor (the humanitarian laws).

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