part 2

Code of Hammurabi

Sample Codes
#25 - If fire break out in a house, and some one who comes to put it out cast his eye upon the property of the owner of the house, and take the property of the master of the house, he shall be thrown into that self-same fire.
#108 - If a tavern-keeper (feminine) does not accept corn according to gross weight in payment of drink, but takes money, and the price of the drink is less than that of the corn, she shall be convicted and thrown into the water.
#127 - If any one "point the finger" (slander) at a sister of a god or the wife of any one, and can not prove it, this man shall be taken before the judges and his brow shall be marked. (by cutting the skin, or perhaps hair.)
#196 If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out.
#200 is tooth for tooth.
#218 - If a physician makes a large incision with the operating knife, and kill him, or open a tumor with the operating knife, and cut out the eye, his hands shall be cut off.

Ancient Law Codes

Two Types of Law
Apodictic law is the kind of law that we have in the Ten Commandments for example. It is not conditioned on anything. It is unconditional, it is general, it is unlimited, it may be expressed in the positive or the negative, but the “you shall not laws” are among the things that keep people out of trouble.

The Casuistic laws, on the other hand, are what might be called case law, where an instance of something is cited. In effect, an example or sample is cited, so these are conditional. These do not usually apply absolutely to everyone. They apply only when the conditions described in the law are met. They are very specific as guidelines rather than being universal.

Decalogue and Law

Decalogue Structure
Words 1 – 4 describe the relationship with God.
Words 5 – 10 describe the relationship with one another.

Greatest Commandments
Love God with all you heart, soul, strength, and mind.
Love your neighbor as yourself.

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 23 September 2007

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