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Re: [ANE-2] Pentateuch question -- Hammurabi, Persia

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  • victor avigdor hurowitz
    Dear Clark, I am familiar with Olmstead s chapter and I refer to it without discussion (I deemed it too late for the purview of the article, although I regret
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 28, 2006
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      Dear Clark,
      I am familiar with Olmstead's chapter and I refer to it without discussion
      (I deemed it too late for the purview of the article, although I regret
      that now) in my article on p. 500 in the middle of note 5 which covers two
      pages. I
      also mention there M. A. Dandamaev, V. G. Lukomin, in The Culture and
      Social Institutions of Ancient Iran (Cambridge, 1989), p. 123. I didn't
      have Briant's book when writing the article. I can only speculate why he
      didn't mention the parallels. Perhaps he thought they were too general or
      that Darius's claims reflect those of Mesopotamian kings in general and
      not just Hammurabi. Were I to go back to this now I would compare the
      suggested parallels in the Babylonian section of Behistun with the laws to
      see exactly how close they are.

      As for the possibility that the laws and not just the
      prologue was learned, I can say that they were definitely studied (and not
      just copied) in the neo-babylonian period. I say this on the basis of the
      way laws 1-5 are applied in the NB composition "King of Justice". They are
      applied in such ways as to reveal the problems in observing these laws by
      their simple meaning. I suggested that this reveals some type of legal
      midrash. I lectured on this on various occasions and discussed it in
      detail in the article in the Klein Festschrift.
      Victor Hurowitz
      BGU



      On Thu, 28 Sep 2006, Clark Whelton wrote:

      > David Hall wrote:
      >
      > >>>>>It seems odd that the Hebrews had part of the code of Hammarubi (Lex
      > Talonis) from c. 1800 BCE in their writings during Persian or Greek times.
      > Was this learned in late Babylonian times during the exile, or was this
      > known in Hebrew records from much earlier times?
      >
      > Victor Hurowitz wrote...
      >
      > >>>>>Just one point. The laws of Hammurabi were known and studied in
      > >>>>>Babylonia down into the neo-Babylonian period if not the Persian
      > >>>>>period. The prologue
      > has been said to be echoed in the Behistun Inscription. Have a look at my
      > article "Hammurabi in Mesopotamian Tradition" in the Jacob Klein
      > Festschrift, CDL Press, 2005, pp. 497-532
      >
      >
      >
      > In his "History of the Persian Empire," Olmstead (Chapt. IX) spends
      > considerable time detailing parallels between the laws of Hammurabi and
      > those of Darius Hystaspes. In a quick review of Briant (Daniels
      > translation) I find no reference to these parallels. I don't have access to
      > Victor's article, and would like to ask if he has any doubts that
      > Hammurabi's laws were known and studied in the Persian period.
      >
      > Clark Whelton
      > New York
      >
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