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Inventing God's LawHow the Covenant Code of the Bible Used and Revised the Laws of Hammurabi$
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David P. Wright

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304756

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304756.001.0001

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The Apodictic Laws

The Apodictic Laws

(p.51) 3 The Apodictic Laws
Inventing God's Law

David P. Wright (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the basic evidence of the common thematic and sequential correlations in the apodictic ("do this/don't do that") laws of the Covenant Code (Exodus 20:23–21:2 and 22:20–23:19) and the prologue and epilogue of the Laws of Hammurabi. These sections of the two texts occur in the same relative position, as bookends around their central casuistic laws. The Covenant Code's apodictic laws replicate three times the thematic sequence of what may be called the exhortatory block of Hammurabi's epilogue, and the themes of the exhortatory block account for the basic content of all of the Covenant Code's apodictic laws. A major change to Hammurabi's text was replacing the human king with Yahweh as lawgiver.

Keywords:   apodictic law, structure of law collections, prologue, epilogue, ideology, theology

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