[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53 read within the book as a whole

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Thu May 27 19:58:46 EDT 2004


> 
> >Dear Peter et. al.,
> >By "written law" I mean a concept whereby judges (or police or
> >lawyers or just judges) make decisions based on a written
> >set of laws. ...
> >
> 
> Well, this isn't what Vadim meant by written law. He was talking about
> written codes specifying behaviour, like Leviticus and Hammurabi, not
> about how judges etc make decisions.
> 
> >... This did not exist in Mesopotamia (and still doesn't) ...
> >
> >
> 
> Well, it did to a large extent until Bush, Blair and friends decided
> unilaterally to overthrow the established government and rule by decree
> and gunpoint.
> 
> 
Dear Peter, No, they had no notion of written law, not in Iraq,
not Iran, not Egypt, not Saudi Arabia. By written law I mean 
a law code that restricts the behavior of judges.

Anyway, I'm saying that there is no evidence that these
lists specify behaviors. I don't know what that means,
specifies behavior. They are examples of justice, right action,
truth, etc. They are examples that one should adopt. But they
are not complete or exhaustive, and they are not meant to be.

I'm forgetting now what started this. I think Vadim was implying
that it cannot br Cyrus in Isaiah 42, since Cyrus wouldn't be
teaching torah. But if you translate torah as law, edict, but
also right action, desirable behavior, etc. then there is no
problem. Torah is just actions, like ma'at in a sense, or rather
when torah is kept, ma'at follows. It is kinatu in Akkadian.
Right action, justice, wise decisions.  But this is what law
is, what nomos means as well. This is what data means in Persian.
Darius and all the Persian kings speak of enacting data. That is
what data is and what torah is. They are the same. Only torah is
the data of YHWH, and data is the torah of Ahura Mazda.
I think it's even used this way in Daniel. In Daniel you
see that the dat is used for the law of the king and 
the law of his god. When you see dat there, just substitute
torah, that is how I see it being used in Isaiah 42 and elsewhere
(Ezra 7:25,26).
Best,
Liz





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