Monday, December 27, 2010

The Codes of Moses and Hammurabi Compared (Free Download)

The Codes of Hammurabi and Moses

by William Walter Davies


"This school of critics were wont to insist that a collection of laws as perfect as those found in the Pentateuch could not have been produced as early in the world's history as the middle of the second millennium before Christ, the time assigned by conservative Bible scholars to Moses and the Exodus. Here is a code antedating the laws of Moses by nearly one thousand years.

"Though proceeding from a polytheistic people and a purely secular document, it shows a high degree of civilization. This fact has impressed Bible scholars, and so, too, has the wonderful correspondence between the Mosaic and Hammurabic codes in many of their laws. These similarities prove to the more liberal critics that the Hebrews borrowed their religious ideas and laws wholesale from the Babylonians.

"This they maintain in spite of the great superiority of Hebrew institutions over those of the Babylonians. There is not a scintilla of positive proof that the Pentateuch owes anything to
Babylon. Many of the laws in both codes are the common property of mankind, and are such as would have naturally suggested themselves to any civilized people. Then again, it is exceedingly probable that away down the ages before the Semitic tribes had separated and left their central home in Arabia, they had an advance system of laws, which the several tribes carried with them whithersoever they emigrated." (pp. 8, 9)

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