Monotheism was: "admittedly syncretistic..

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Sun Jan 27 00:42:00 EST 2002


Re: Monotheism was: "admittedly syncretistic..Dear Jonathan,

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Jonathan D. Safren [mailto:yon_saf at bezeqint.net]
  Sent: Sat, January 26, 2002 3:57 PM
  To: lizfried at umich.edu; Biblical Hebrew
  Subject: Re: Monotheism was: "admittedly syncretistic..


  Dear Liz,


  {LSF} Hasn't  Ray Westbrook discussed this? I don't think apodictic laws
are that rare but maybe they are. If they are rare in the law codes and not
rare in the Vassal Treaties, that's interesting. (To me, anyway, maybe
everyone else knows this.)

  [JDS] I haven't seen a single apodictic law in any of the ANE law codes.
In the treaties, the apodictic formulation is not in laws but in treqaty
stipulations: "With my friends you shall be friends"

  [LSF] I think there are some, but they refer to taxes, or anduarums, or
something like that.



  As for the ANE codes, they serve to demonstrate the justness of the
monarch (cf. the intro. and conclusion to CH). \legal-administrative
documents from the same places and periods demonstrate that the actual legal
practices were different.

  [LSF] The same is here as well, only I suppose the monarch is YHWH.

  [JDS] Where does it say that YHWH is giving thelaws/covenant because he is
just?

  [LSF] Right. I don't think it says it anywhere, but isn' t that the
conclusion you're supposed
  to draw. Indeed, that's the conclusion Rolf has drawn.


  [LSF] No murder isn't always punished by death, cf Exodus 21:20. No
punishment is listed. How do you translate naqom yenaqem?

  [JDS] He shall be avenged. Blood vengeance, meanng the death penalty. In
other words, a slave is worthy of blood vengeance just as is a free man.
That;s the punishment. Casuistic law always has a sanction.

  [LSF} I'm not sure about this.It seems if so, then it would say mut,
yamut. I don't think a punishment,
  except what is avenged by God, i/e., if he has an accedental death. But
there is no punishment
  assigned. The slave was his property, and the presumption is you don't
purposely destroy
  your own property. So the assumption probably is that you can't murder
your own slave
  (Like you can't rape your wife?), so that there is no death penalty.

  Liz
  Jonathan
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