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

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Fri May 28 08:44:50 EDT 2004

Dear Peter, Vadim,
By written law, I do not mean a list of laws.
I mean the knowledge that when you are brought
in for interrogating that there is a real 
crime on the books that you have been charged
with, that was there before you were charged!
That people cannot just bring you in off
the streets for questioning, interrogation, 
punishment, without there having been a real
law that has been broken. That does not
exist in any Moslem country that I'm aware of.
Nor does it exist in China. Perhaps Russia
is getting there. IF you think that in countries
where there is Shariya law that there are these
sorts of safeguards in place, then well, try
living there. This is what they have been fighting
for in Iran since the Revolution. They didn't have
it under the Shah, and they certainly don't have it
now. That is what they all want, a rule of law.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Kirk [mailto:peterkirk at qaya.org]
> Sent: Friday, May 28, 2004 7:58 AM
> To: Lisbeth S. Fried
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Isaiah 53 read within the book as a whole
> 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
> http://www.oefre.unibe.ch/law/icl/iz__indx.html:
> > 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 /Hussein,/ the 1990 Constitution is no longer in force.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.
> >
> >
> Agreed.
> >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
> >
> >
> >
> 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)
> http://www.qaya.org/

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