[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53 read within the book as a whole
peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu May 27 18:27:45 EDT 2004
On 27/05/2004 13:02, Lisbeth S. Fried wrote:
>I hope by "Jews of this time" you mean the Persian period,
>the period in which the text is set. At this time there
>was no concept of written law. I'm sure it is Greek.
>There is no written law in Mesopotamia and none in Egypt
>until the advent of the Ptolemies. There is a lot of work
>on law codes, see my article in Persia and Torah for a review.
>The word torah should be translated like hep, like data, etc.
>I have tried to show that the reading of the torah in Ezra-Neh.
>and the concept of Mosaic law which should be followed by all
>is an Hellenic invention. That article should be out this fall
>in a special Transeuphratene supplement. There were lists of
>examples of just decisions, as in Hammurabi's Code, in the
>hp that Darius collected, in the Priestly Code of Leviticus, etc.,
>but this should not be mistaken for a law code as we would
>consider laws. The concept of no law except what is written
>in the torah is anachronistic for the Persian period. It may
>even be anachronistic for the Hellenic period. Perhaps a real
>legal system is Roman.
Liz, you have done a nice job of setting up a straw man and shooting it
down. Of course there was no Roman style legal system in the Persian or
earlier periods, as that would be an anachronism. No one has ever
claimed that there was. But each of these periods had its own form of
written law. Hammurabi's code is written law. So is Leviticus. So are
some Egyptian texts. If there are no surviving Persian texts, that's
probably because they wrote them on perishable material, for there is
certainly evidence of written decrees, as in all the Persian period
Bible books. Just because they are not Roman style written laws, that
does not imply that they are not written laws. Of course that is not to
say that law was restricted to what is written down, any more than it is
in England and the USA today where common law is still unwritten. But
did anyone ever claim such a restriction?
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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