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

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Fri May 28 07:58:17 EDT 2004

On 27/05/2004 16:58, Lisbeth S. Fried wrote:

>> ...
>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.

Well, what about the Shariah law which is based on a *written* 
collection of hadith, supposed sayings of Muhammad? And Iraq had a 
written constitution under Saddam Hussein, according to 

> Following the 2003 'Iraq War' of a U.S.-led alliance against 
> /Hussein,/ the 1990 Constitution is no longer in force. ... The ICL 
> Edition of the 1990 Constitution is still available.

This constitution can be found at 
http://www.oefre.unibe.ch/law/icl/iz01000_.html. See articles 19-21 and 
60 which restrict the conduct of legal proceedings, and 64 which 
specifies that laws are to be published in a written Gazette.

Iran before 1979 also had a written constitution, although the Shah 
largely ignored it which was a major reason for his overthrow. Well, 
Islamic and modern law is not really relevant here, so let's go back to 
ancient Persian, Jewish etc law.

>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. ...

Well, they specify things like "Whoever strikes a person mortally shall 
be put to death." (Exodus 21:12), not just an example that killing 
people is wrong but an instruction about the punishment to be carried 
out by the judge or the community. Or look at: "You shall not pervert 
the justice due to your poor in their lawsuits. Keep far from a false 
charge, and do not kill the innocent and those in the right, for I will 
not acquit the guilty. You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the 
officials, and subverts the cause of those who are in the right." 
(Exodus 23:6-8) Clear and specific instructions to judges restricting 
their behaviour, surely?

>... 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).
Well, I more or less agree with your definition of torah, and nomos.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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