Essay about Code of Hammurabi and the Book of Exodus

3185 Words Oct 26th, 2008 13 Pages
The secular laws of Babylon were laid down by Hammurabi in “The Code of Hammurabi”, and in the book of Exodus. These laws provided stability and order in those respective societies. As society depended upon them, it is natural to assume that the laws relied upon society as well and reflect the values held by each society, not only in the laws themselves, but also in how they are written, whom they pertain to and how they are executed. While at first glance the law codes appear similar, there are a number of differences that provide key insight to what was held dear in each society. How do differences in these two law codes attest to differences in the two societies which pronounced them, and likewise, what can be learned from their …show more content…
Robbery was also taken much more seriously in the Code of Hammurabi than in Exodus.
22. If a man carried on highway robbery and he be captured, he shall be put to death. 23. If the highwayman were not captured, he who has been robbed shall declare before God, the amount lost; then the place and official in whose territory and district the robbery too place shall compensate him for that which he lost. 24. If it were a life, the place and official shall pay one mina of silver to his people.

Capital punishment is reserved for a small number of offences, and the fact that robbery is included in this list supports the idea of a society highly concerned with material wealth. The 23rd law that states that the victims of robbery are to be reimbursed by the states points to a highly organized and powerful government. The 24th law actually puts a monetary value on a human life, which is not seen in Israelite society. Laws 42-48 in the Code of Hammurabi deal with renting and leasing agricultural fields. They enumerate how payments are to be made in a list of special circumstances such as drought or crop failure. Law number 43 goes so far as to say “If he does not till the field, but let it lie fallow, he shall give grain like his neighbor's to the owner of the field, and the field which he let lie fallow he must plow and

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