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Wisdom-Laws: A Study of the Mishpatim of Exodus 21:1–22:16

Bernard S Jackson


This book offers fresh perspectives on the nature of biblical law and the methodology we bring to its study. We think of law as rules whose words are binding, used by the courts in the adjudication of disputes. The book explains that early biblical law was significantly different, and that many of the laws in the Covenant Code in Exodus should be viewed as ‘wisdom-laws’. By this term is meant ‘self-executing’ rules, the provisions of which permit their application without recourse to the law-courts or similar institutions. They thus conform to two tenets of the ‘wisdom tradition’: that judicia ... More

Keywords: biblical law, rules, binding, courts, adjudication, disputes, Covenant Code, Exodus, wisdom-laws

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780198269311
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269311.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Bernard S Jackson, author
Alliance Professor of Modern Jewish Studies, University of Manchester
Author Webpage