[b-hebrew] law

JAMES CHRISTIAN READ JCR128 at student.apu.ac.uk
Fri Jun 23 13:10:26 EDT 2006

JCR:Yeah! I think there is some truth in it as well. 
When I read the Torah and see how the 'law' gradually 
seems to get more and more complex I can almost imagine 
the situation going like this:

Yah gives a simple list of commandments known as the 
ten commandments.
The people try to live by these commandments as they 
roam and see that in certain circumstances they are 
not so straight forward to apply.
The people coming to Moses and saying 'What if...?'.
Moses keeps adding to the law until eventually we 
at this long list of complex laws which all derived 
from the simple laws of loving Yah and being nice to 
other people.

Dear Lisbeth ,

>I'd like to call your attention to my article in Persia and Torah (SBL
>2001)and all the references cited there which argue that these lists of
>"laws" did not function then as our law codes function today.  In other
>words, they were not true laws, in our sense.  Rather, they were lists
>designed to illustrate a just society. There is no evidence that judges used
>these lists to make judicial decisions.

HH: There is truth in this to some extent, since God Himself was to 
guide the judges in difficult cases. Yet, it seems clear that these laws 
were intended to guide the life of the society as more than a model. 
They provided the actual mode of operation for the society, the most 
basic legal framework from which the relevant details could be filled 
in. There was to be no work on the Sabbath, and the society operated 
according to that law. The Sabbath law apparently had not existed before 
God instituted it in Exodus 16, so it grew directly out of divine 

Harold Holmyard

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