Encyclopaedia Biblica/Lampsacus-Lazar House

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Encyclopaedia Biblica
Thomas Kelly Cheyne and John Sutherland Black
Lampsacus-Lazar House
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1 Macc. 15:23 EV m e- (after Vg. LAMPSACUS) ; EV SAMPSAMES (q.v.).


For }VT3, kldon, Jer. 5042 AV, RV spear, see JAVELIN, 5, WEAPONS. For npn, rdmah, i K. 1828 RV, AV lancet, see SPEAR, WEAPONS.


(PI3), Lev. 1130, RV, AV CHAMELEON, (q.v. , i).


(^3|), Dt. 19 14, etc. See AGRICULTURE, 5.


See LAW AND JUSTICE ( 15, 18).


(d>A.NOc). Jn.l8 3 f. See LAMP.


(AAoAlKlA [Ti.WH] from N everywhere; in TR everywhere A&oAiKeiA.. which is cer tainly the correct Gk. form [Authors and inscrr. ]. B has AAOAlKlA in Col. 2i Rev. 1 n 814 ; but AAOAiKeiA in Col. 4131516. Latin, Laodicea ; but also Laodicia and other wrong forms are found. The ethnic is A&O- AiKeyc [Lat. Laodicensis], Laodicean, Col. 4i6 [cp Coins]). The NT passages indicate the position of Laodiceia 3 as ( i ) in the Roman province of Asia, and (2) in close proximity to Colossce and Hierapolis. A coin represents the city as a woman wearing a turreted crown, sitting between (ppYriA and KARIA. which are figured as standing females. This agrees with the ancient authorities, who are at variance whether Lao diceia belongs to Caria or to Phrygia. 4 It was in fact close to the frontier, on the S. bank of the Lycus, 6 m. S. of Hierapolis and about 10 m. W. of Colossas (Col. 4 1316). In order to distinguish it from other towns of the same name, it was called AaodiKfia i] 7r/>6s (or twi) T$ Ai /cp (Laodicea ad Lycum, Strabo, 578).

Laodiceia probably owed its foundation to Antiochus II. (261-246 B.C.), and its name to his wife Laodice. The foundations of the Greek kings in Asia Minor were intended as centres of Hellenic civilisation and of foreign domination. Ease of access and commercial convenience were sought, rather than merely military strength. Hence they were generally placed on rising ground at the edge of the plains (Ramsay, Hist. Geogr. of AM, 85). Such is the situation of Laodiceia, backed by the range of Mt. Salbacus (Baba Dagk) and, to the SE. , Mt. Cadmus (Khonas Dagh}. Being a Seleucid foundation, Laodiceia contained a Jewish element in its population, either due to the founder or imported by Antiochus the Great about 200 B.C. (Jos. Ant. xii. 34>. 5 In 62 B.C. Flaccus. the governor of Asia, seized twenty pounds of gold which had been collected at Laodiceia, as the centre of a district, 6 by the Jews for transmission to Jerusalem (Cic. Pro Flacco, 68 ; cp Jos. Ant. xiv. 10 20, a letter addressed by the Laodicean magistrates to Gaius Rabirius in 48 or 45 B.C. , guaranteeing religious freedom for the Jewish colony).

1 Also a classical custom. Probably the flame was originally regarded as a vivifying and fertilising agent ; cp especially Frazer, C.olden Bought, 8303. One remembers that Hymen is figured with a torch.

2 Op. cit. 84.

1 fAt least six cities of this name were founded or renovated in the later Hellenic period. Cp LYCAONIA.]

  • Carian, Ptol. and Steph. Byz. s.r: Antiocheia ; Phrygian,

Polyb. 5 57, Strabo, 576.

8 [Cp Willrich, Juden u. Griechtn, 41 f. , who denies the genuineness of the document.]

8 Cp Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, 2667.

The prosperity of Laodiceia began _only with the^ Roman period (Str. 578, /uuicpa Trporepoi/ overa avfqo-ii^cAa/Sci/ e<f> T>UUII> Kai Ta)f rjfj.fTfpu)! varfpiav, which sums up the first century B.C.). Strabo traces the growth of the city to its excellent territory and its fine breed of sheep ; but the real secret lay in its situation at a knot in the imperial road -system (cp Pol. 657). At Laodiceia the great eastern highway met three other roads : (i) from the SE., from Attnleia and Perga ; (2) from the NW., the important road from Sardis and Philadelpheia ; (3) from the NE., from Dorylaeum and northern Phrygia. The city was thus marked out as a commercial and administrative centre. It was the meeting-place of the Cibyratic conventus, and a banking-centre (Cicero proposes to cash there his treasury bills of exchange Ad Ji ai. 3 5, pecunia quie ex publica permutatione debetur. Cp id. Ad Att.5is). To this financial side of the city s repute refers Rev. 3 18 ( I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire ). Laodiceia also became great as a manufacturing town. The fine glossy black native wool (of the colour called <copafrjs, Str. 578) was made into garments of various shapes and names, and into carpets. 1 A reference to this trade is found in Rev. 3 18 ( I counsel thee to buy of me . . . white raiment [i/uana Aeuica not the dark garments of native manufacture]). The town thus rapidly grew rich. Although it was passed over in 26 A.D. as not sufficiently important to be selected as the site of a temple to Tiberius (Tac. Ann. 455), it needed no help from the imperial exchequer in order to repair the havoc wrought by the great earthquake 2 of 60 A.D. (Tac. Ann. 1^27, propriis opibus rmaluit). Hence the boast in Rev. 3 17 ( I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing ).

Asklepios (/Esculapius) enjoyed great honour at Laodiceia. He is there the Grecised form of the native deity, Men Karos, whose temple was at Attouda, some 12 m. to the West (cp NEOCOROS). It was connected with a great school of medicine. That Laodiceia identified itself with this worship is clear from its coins, which under Augustus have the staff of Asklepios en circled by serpents, with the legend ZeDts or ZeDiS 4>iAa\i;0T7S : Zeuxis and Alexander Philalethes were two directors of the school. The expression in Rev. 3i8 ( eye-salve to anoint thine eyes with, that thou mayest see 1 RV) refers to the Phrygian powder (retftpa. <bpvyia) used to cure weak eyes. We may infer that this was made at Laodiceia, and that the Laodicean physicians were skilful oculists. Thus the three epithets poor and blind and naked in Rev. 3 17, are carefully selected with refer ence to three conspicuous features in the life of the city.

Of the history of Christianity in Laodiceia little is known. From Col. 2i ( /or them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh ), it is clear that at the time of writing Paul was not personally known to the bulk of the converts at Laodiceia. This inference is by no means irreconcilable with Acts 19 1 [on the expression TO. dvurepiKo. fJ-fpT], the upper coasts AV, the upper country RV, see GALATIA, 7, col. 1596, and PHRYGIA, 4]. The foundation of the Laodi cean church must be traced to Paul s activity in Ephesus (Acts 18 19 19 10, so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word ). The actual founder of the church would appear to have been Epaphras (Col. 17 4i2/. ). From Col. 4 16 we gather that Paul wrote also to Laodiceia when he wrote to Colossoe ; but the Laodicean epistle is lost unless we accept the view that it is the extant Epistle to the Ephesians (cp COLOSSI ANS, 14). The epistle, extant in Latin, entitled Epistola ad Laodicenses, is a forgery. 3 The subscription to i Tim. The first to Timothy was written from Laodicea AV is also false.

The site of Laodiceia (mod. Eski-Hissar, the Old Castle ) is now quite deserted; the ruins are many but not striking. The old city has served as a quarry for Denizli, a large Turkish town at the foot of the Baba Dagh, about 6 m. to the southward.


Ramsay, in his Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, \ 32 jff. 34I./I 2512 542^, etc., gives nearly all that is known of Laodiceia and the Lycus valley generally, with map of Laodiceia. Map of the Lycus valley in his Church in the Rom. Einp.ip), 472. See also Anderson, in/aurn. of Hellenic Studies, 1897, pp. 404^, and Weber, Jahrb. des arch. Instituts, 1898. w. J. W.


RV LAPPIDOTH (niTS 1 ?, as if 'torches' or [cp D^TS?, Ex. 20:18] 'lightning flashes' ; AA(J>[e]iAo>6 [BAL]), husband of DEBORAH (Judg. 44). There is reason, however, to suspect that both Deborah and Lappidoth may be corruptions, the former of the name of the centre of the clan of Saul ( Ephrath i. e. , Jerahmeel ; see SAUL, i), the latter of PALTIEL, the origin of which was of course unknown when the Deborah legend was elaborated. The narratives in Judg. 4 and Josh. 11, and the song in Judg. 5, have in fact most probably undergone considerable transforma tion. See SHIMRON-MERON, SISERA. T. K. c.


(Rev. 21:19 RV m e-), the name by which a well-known blue mineral (mainly silicate of aluminium, calcium, and sodium), the source of ultra marine, has since the Arabian period been designated ; 1 it is now brought chiefly from SW. Siberia, through Persia and Turkestan. To the Greeks it was known as ffdirfaipos, to the Hebrews as vsp, sappir (see SAP PHIRE), to the Assyrians and Babylonians (most prob ably) as the ukmi-slor\e, to the Egyptians as the hspd. It was prized alike for personal ornaments and for archi tectural decoration. A large number of Egyptian objects of luxury made from it have been preserved ; various Assyrian seal-cylinders, inscribed tablets, and the like, in lapis lazuli, are also known (1450 B.C. onwards). Rurnaburias of Babylonia sends to Naphuria of Egypt (i.e., Amenhotep IV.) two minas of ?//?7-stone and a necklace of 1048 gems and uknu-siones. There is frequent mention of uknii in the Statistical Table of Thotmes III. (KPI^ff.}, and Rameses III. is so rich in uknu that he can offer pyramids of it in his temple at Medinet Habu. It was one of the seven stones placed as amulets and ornaments on the breast of the Babylonian kings, and was used to overlay the highest parts of buildings. It is sometimes called ukne-sade (uknu of the mountains), and Esarhaddon specially mentions the mountains of Media and the neighbouring regions as sources of the ~uknii. The inscriptions at ed-Deir el-Bahri speak of it as brought from the land of Punt.

See Am. Tab. 84042 15 n ; KBZbvo; Del. Ass. HWB, s.v. uknii ; Wi. AOF\ 150160 271 ; \VMM, As. u. Eur. 278; OLZ, Feb. 1899. p. 39 ; Peters, Nippur, 2 132 143 195 210 240.


(nQ 3-n), Lev. 11 19 Dt. 14i8 AV, RV HOOPOE (q.v. ).


(Acts 27:8, rroAic AAC<MA [AACEA WH, after B]: noAlC &A&CC& [A], AACC<M& [N*]. A&ICC<\ [N c ], A<\CIA [minusc. ap. Ti.] ; Vg. THALASSA [tol TH A LA ssi A ; codd. ap. Lachm. THASLASSA, or THAS- SALA~\}. From Acts we learn that it was near (tyyvs) Fair Havens, and the configuration of the coast there abouts restricts us to the N. or the E. There was prob ably frequent communication between the town and Paul s ship, which lay for much time at FAIR HAVENS (q. v. }. The ruins of Lasea were discovered, apparently, by Captain Spratt, in 1853. They were first examined and described by the Rev. G. Brown in 1856. The site lies about a mile NE. of Cape Leoit(d}a (=A^ovra), a promontory resembling a lion couchant, 4 or 5 m. E. of Fair Havens. According to Mr. Brown, the peas ants still call the place Lasea. This position agrees with that given to a place called Lisia, which in the Peuti tiger Tables is stated to be 16 m. from Gortyna (see Hoeck, Kreta\t,\i, but cp Winer 81 , 5, n. 55). The- true name, according to Bursian (GVftor. 2567), is Alassa, and the place is identical with the AXai of the Stadiasmus AJed. 322, and the Alos or Lasos of Pliny (//AM 12) ; but Bursian is in error in identifying the remains near Cape Leonda as those of Leben, one of the ports of Gortyna (Strabo 478), and in putting Lasea on the islet now called Traphos which lies close to the coast a little to the NE. of Fair Havens.

See James Smith, Voyage and SkifWKk of St. Paul, 4th ed., 83, 268 f. with map ; Falkener in Jlfus. of Class. Ant. 1852, Sept. p. 287. For coins with legend WaAao-aewv, cp Head, Hist. Mum. 386. W. J. W.

1 Laziward,o{PeTS. origin, whence also our azure


(I -y, pausal form ; AACA [EL] ; AACA [A ), or rather Lesha, a frontier city of Canaan (i.e., on the W. side of the Jordan), Gen. 10 igf. Jerome (Qucest. in lib. Gen. ) and the Targum identify it with Callirrhoe, a. place famous for its hot springs, near the W&dy Zerka Main, on the E. side of the Dead Sea (see Seetzen s account in Ritter, Erdkunde, 15 575^)- The situation of Callirrhoe, however, is unsuitable. Halevy proposes to read jit? 1 ?, lASon, which is used in Josh. 152 of the southern end of the Dead Sea (Recherches bibliques, 8 164) ; but the article would in this case be indispensable. Sey- bold ( ZA T \\ , 1896, p. 3 18/:) actually identifies Lesha with Zoar (also called Bela), which, as the southern point of the Fentapolis, seems to him to be naturally expected in such a context. Wellhausen (CH 15) maintains that we should read cc>S, Lesham the letters j; and D have a close resemblance in their Palmyrene form. In this case, the border of the Canaanites is given thus from Sidon to Gaza, from Gaza to the Dead Sea, and from the Dead Sea to Lesham i.e., Dan (cp LESHEM). Most probably, however, the original text referred to the Kenites or Kennizzites (not to the Canaanites), and the border was drawn from Missur (not Zidon ) to Gerar and Gaza (?), and in the direction of Sodom and Gomorrah as far as Eshcol (?) i.e., perhaps Halusah.

T. K. C.


RV Lassharon (|iTJ ; 7; THC Apu>K (?) [B], om. A, AeCApUJN [L]), a royal city of Canaan, mentioned with Aphek, Josh. 12 18 (EV). ^?D, king (of), before p"VJv is, however, probably an interpola tion ; it is not represented in (55. Thus the true sense will be, the king of Aphek in the (plain of) Sharon (see APHEK). Those who retain the MT suggest that Lasharon may be the modern Sarona [SW. of Tiberias. Kautzsch, HS, renders MT the king of Sharon. Observe, however (i) that jntrS iVa should mean gram matically one of the kings of Sharon (see Ges. -Kau. 129 c}, and (2) that Sarona, as a place-name, is probably a late echo of the older name of a district (see SHARON, 2). <S in Josh. 129-24, gives twenty-nine kings, MT thirty -one. It is more likely that the original writer made thirty.] W. R. S.


(AAc6eN[e]i dat. [ANY], - H c [Jos.]), the minister of Demetrius II. Nicator (see DEMETRIUS, 2), who was ordered to lighten the fiscal burdens of the Jews. A copy of the order was also forwarded to Jonathan the Maccabee (see MACCABEES i., 5), and appears in i Mace. 1130^ in a form closely akin to that in Josephus Ant. xiii. 4g[ I26-I3O]). 1 From Josephus (Ant. xiii. 4s) it would seem that Lasthenes was a Cretan who had raised a number of mercenaries (cp CRETE, col. 955) w tn which Demetrius had been able to commence his conquest of Syria. The honorific titles bestowed upon him in i Mace. 11 31 f. (a\.<yyfvris, irar-^p ; see CoirsiN, FATHER) testify to his high position, which (compare 10 69 74*2) may have been that of governor of Coelesyria, or grand vizier of the kingdom (cp Camb. Bib. ad loc. ). Later, when quietness had been gained, the whole of the army of Demetrius was disbanded (probably at the instigation of Lasthenes) with the exception of the foreign forces from the isles of the gentiles (11 38),* a circumstance which gave rise to widespread dissatisfaction ; see, further, ANTIOCHUS 4 ; TRYPHON.

1 The most noteworthy differences are (a) v. 37, tv opti r<3 oyi u) as compared with the pieferable TOV ayiov ifpoO [Jos. 128] opft apparently a cortuplion of tcpu, and (6) v. 38, at 5vya /uei? ai oirb rStv iraripiav as against aTpaTio>Tu)f [Jos. 8 130] the reading of Mace, being apparently a doublet with vn!3N read for vmMax ( as m 10 7 J t see MACCABEES^ FIRST, 3 end]).

2 Jos. 129, no doubt correctly, oi . . ix Kprjnjs.


HIT , Is. 5:27 ; IMAC, Mk. 1 7 etc. ). See SHOES.




1. Use and form.[edit]

Although the manufacture and use of glass (more particularly for ornamental purposes) was known to the civilisations of the East from the earliest times (see GLASS, 1), we are without evidence of the employment of glass-panes in the construction of windows. Indeed, no openings such as windows were at any time common a fact which finds sufficient explanation in climatic con siderations. In Assyria and Babylonia, to avoid open ings of any kind in the outer walls, the ancient architects used doorways reaching to ten or more feet in height, which were intended to light and ventilate the rooms as well as to facilitate the movements of their inhabitants (Place, Ninive, 1313, see Per. -Chip. , Art in Chald. \i&f>ff.}. In Egypt, again, the openings were small but admitted of being closed with folding valves, secured . . . with a bolt or bar, and ornamented with carved panels or coloured devices ( Wilk. Anc. Eg. \ 363, cp illustr. p. 362, fig. 132). Of the construction of the house among the ancient Hebrews we know but little (see HOUSE) ; the etymology, however, of some of the terms employed for certain parts l suggests constructions of lattice work, such as have happily not yet disappeared. 2 At the present day the windows looking out tosvards the street are small, closely barred, and at a consider able height from the ground. In the olden times these windows seem to have looked over the street, and in the case of houses built upon the city- wall offered an easy escape into the surrounding country (cp Josh. 2 15 2 Mace. 819). Cp HOUSE, 2.

2. Hebrew names.[edit]

The OT words correctly rendered in EV lattice or window* are four, to which TTTiS, mehezah (EV light i.e., 'light-opening', 'window') in i K. 7:4-5. may be added. Of three other words (nos. 5-7) AB mistakes the meaning.

(1) TV2.^X t ariMdh (cp Ar. arata, to tie [a knot] ), EV windowj used of the latticed openings of a dove-cote (Is. 60s r[e]oo[<r]os [BHA. etc.]), of the sluices of the sky (Gen. 7 n, etc. Ka.TappaK.Tris [in Is. 24 18 Svpi s]), and metaphorically of the eyes (Eccl. 12 3 OTTJJ). On Hos. 13 3 (ica7ri<o6ox>) [AO.*] ; Saxpvuf [B] comes from axptSuv [Compl.] i.e., n3"]K ; EV chimney ), see COAL, S 3.

(2) jiWl, hallon, Ovpi s, EV window, Gen. 26 8 Josh. 2 15 Judg. 528 Jer. 22 14 (where read vjiSn with Mich., Hi., etc.), not necessarily a mete opening (SSrii to bore, perforate), since 2 K. 13 17 shows that it could be opened and shut, but probably an opening provided with a movable covering of lattice-work (cp 3:c i X ) 3 lattice, Judg. 5 28* Pr. V 6 [where AV 'casement' ]). 3lSn m i K. 6:4 is very probably the bet hilltini, place of openings 01 fortified poitico, an architectural expression used by Sargon (Khars, idif., cp A j9248) as a W. Palestinian term for tit tifpilti (see FORTKF.SS, col. 1557, and references in Muss- Am., Ass. HWB s. v. xilant). In i K. I.e., n 3 seems to be identical with or possibly a portion of the D/1N in v. 3.

(3) D inn (pi.), hdrakkim, Ct. 2 9, cp N3in in Tgg. for pWl.

(4) J ?3 (pi.), kawwln, Dan. 6 10 [u], Aramaic. To these AV adds

(s) Dfe CC* (pi-), s f Miisi>tA, Is. 54 is; but see BATTLEMENT, FORTRESS, col. 1557 . i.

(6) rjgs?, sekeph, i K. V 5 (cp C EpS 64*5), a. difficult word which seems rather to denote a cross-beam (RVnijr. with beams ) ; and

(7) -Hi, sohar, Gen. 6 t6 (in P s description of the ark). AV may be nearly right though, in spite of the support given to the rendering opening for light by Tg., Pesh., Vulg., etc., many scholars now render roof e.g., RVnig., Budde, and Ball; Ges.-Buhl and others who compare Ar. zahr. Ass. seru (in Am. Tab. su ru), back. It is doubtful, however, whether this comparison is legitimate, (a) The meaning of the Heb. root ~\7TX "inl, to shine, is well-established. (/<) Jensen more safely connects Ass. sei u with ~)W1>, neck (Kosmol. 28, n. i) ; and

(c) there is no support for a word like -|rtx> roof, in the Babylonian Deluge-story. has eviyvvayuiv, which is not a rendering of "13S (Schleusner, Ball, and others) but a corrupt ion of KOLitvo&o\riv. Josephus (Ant. \. 82) mentions a roof (opo<j>o<;), but is silent about the window, which in fact seems to be usually passed over in the accounts of the ark contained in the various deluge-legends (see DELUGE, 20, . 5), though, to be sure, J incidentally refers to a window. 1 For RV s rend. Might, i.e., a great light-opening, cp Symm., Sia<j>a.vf<;. [On the whole it may be best to read H3"IX (cp <5, reading as above). Pasek in MT warns us to criticise the text. Cp PSBA 23 141.

T. K. C. ]

1 "IJ3i; , lattice, i K. 1 2, IICTV<OIO [15L], SLKTVOV [A], see NET, 5; and H31K (only in plur., except in Hos. 183), see above (i).

2 See Baed.Pl xli. One must po to the more remote parts of Arabia to escape from glass window-panes altogether (Doughty, Ar. Des. 1 286).

a On etymology, cp Moore Judg. ad loc. In Judg. TofncoK[B], fillCTUUJTTJ [AL].



1. In Kings.[edit]

Solomon's temple (see TEMPLE), besides its sea of bronze (see SEA, MOLTEN), had also ten bronze lavers Mil s ; see POT, and cp COALS, 3, FURNACE, i [2] ; Xoimfc (55, but in Kings xirr/36/cai Xos [AL-07] ^S- lab rum? but four times Inter, once lebes, and twice concha ). The passage in i K. (Tzy-sg) 4 is evidently in great confusion ; and but little help in the elucidation of the wholly inade quate details in MT s description can be obtained either from @ (7 i-zff-} or from Josephus (Ant. viii. 36). The figures in Stade (GF71 33 8 34o/.), Nowack (HA l^f.}, and Ben/.inger (HA 2 52 ff. ; Kon. 49) may assist vague conjecture as to what may have been the appearance of structures which obviously none of the describers had ever seen.

Fresh light, however, has been thrown on the whole passage (i Ki. 7:27-39) by Stade s new discussion in ZA TIV 21 (1901), pp. 145-192, mainly through discoveries of bronze chariots in Cyprus. The undersetters (RV for nsns) and the stays (nT) are now intelligible, and so too is the construction of the mouths of the lavers. Klostermann s excision of vv. 34-36 is found to be inadequate to the explanation of the present state of the text, which has arisen by the interweaving of two parallel accounts.

1. Of the lavers themselves all we are told is that they were of bronze, four cubits (six feet) in diameter, and that they had a cubic capacity of forty baths (90,000 cubic in., 52 cubic ft.). Thus they must have been about 2 ft. in depth and when filled with water their contents alone (325 gallons) must have weighed about 14 tons. 5

2. Each laver with its foot rested on a base. Of these bases (nij DC, mckSnoth ; jnex a>1 " ^ > bases) also we have no satisfactory description. Each of them was four (, Jos., five) cubits long, four (Jos., five)cubits broad, and three (, Jos., six) cubits high. Each consisted of n\-\}j,(misg-erotli ; ovyK\ei<nov, <TvyK\eio-/j.a.Ta) and n<y?p (Jtflaiilm ; ef e^ofitva) ; but how these words should be rendered is quite uncertain. 6 Ben/inger argues with some plausibility that the s labbim were the primary elements in the quadrilateral structure, and the misgeroth only secondary. The misgeroth were decorated with lions, oxen, and cherubim.

3. Each base rested on solid brazen wheels ij cubits in diameter; the axles of these wheels moved myddoth hands or stays which projected from the lower part of the base and were of the same piece with it.

4. The ten lavers as described in Kings were ranged five on the right side and five on the left side of the house facing eastward. According to 2 K. 1617 king Ahaz (see Benzinger) cut up the mikonoth and removed the misgeroth. Presumably if the lavers themselves re mained they stood at a lower elevation than formerly. Perhaps, however, the bases were renewed, since they are said to have been broken in pieces by the army of Nebuchadrezzar (2 K. 25:13-16 = Jer. 52:17-20; J cp Jer. 27:19). What their function was is not stated in MT. Josephus, who must at least have known the arrange ments of the temple of his own day, says that the lavers were for cleansing the entrails of the animals sacrificed, and also their feet (?).

On the probable mythological significance of the lavers, see SEA [MOLTEN].

1 In J the words for 'window' and 'roof' are p^n (Gen. 8:6) and nppn ( covering 8:13) respectively. Mr. S. A. Cook sug. gests that 6:16 may contain the statement that openings were to be made upon the first, second, and third stories e.g., iTnnEI 131 D t Pj ?ns3 ^3. For the anticipatory pronominal suffix in n3, cp Josh. 1 26 Jer. 51 56 Ezek. 41 25, etc.

2 Fr. lavoir, I, at. laziatoriunt.

3 i.e., iavabrutit.

  • Contrast the bare notice in 2 Ch. 4 14.

5 Josephus, however (Ant. viii. 36, 85), makes them 4 cubits (6 ft.) in depth, and thus of much larger capacity.

6 See for example Vg. of v. 28 f. : et ipsum opus basium intenasile erat et scttlptuiae inter junctures, et inter coronulas et plectas leones, etc

2. In P.[edit]

The laver (Jos. Ant. iii. 63 irepippavT-ripiov) of Ex. 30:18, 30:28, 35:16, 38:8, 39:39, 40:7-11, Lev. 8:11 (all P) stood on its 'foot' (js, (5 /Mcrts, Jos. icpijTris ; basis) between the door of the tabernacle and the altar. The laver belongs wholly to one of the later strata of P. (See Dr. Introd.(^, 38 ; Addis, Doc. Hex. 2276, etc., and the Oxf. Hex.) Its dimensions or shape are nowhere stated; it is said (Ex. 38:8) to have been made out of the mirrors of the women (a very late Haggadic addition, thinks Wellhausen), and its use was for Aaron and his sons to wash their hands and feet therein when they entered the tabernacle.

When we compare the account of the tabernacle in P with the (very late) description of Solomon s temple in i K. it seems curious that the laver and its bases should be left undescribed in P ; the case is reversed with the golden candlestick : perhaps we may conclude that the laver and the candlestick were one. Moreover, it may be worth noting that the use of only one laver in P when contrasted with the ten in i K. finds an analogy in the CANDLESTICK [q.v., i]. See further SCAFFOLD.

(See Ohnefalsch-Richter, Kypros, Taf. 134 ; also his notes on p. 449.)


  • Law and custom (1).
  • Effect of settlement (2-3).
  • Written laws (4-6).
  • Oral law (7).
  • Administration ( 8-10).
  • Punishment ( 11-13).
  • Private law [property, etc.] (14-18)
  • Bibliography (19).

1. Law and custom.[edit]

Law is, originally, custom. As has been already shown under GOVERNMENT (esp. 9), the old tribal system knew no legislative authority, no persons holding superior power whose will and command were looked upon as law or as constituting right. This does not, however, imply a condition of arbitrary lawlessness ; on the contrary, tribal custom formed a law and a right of the most binding character. Its authority was much more powerful than that established by any mere popular custom in modern society. To break loose from tribal custom was, practically, to renounce the family and tribal connection altogether ; any gross infraction of that custom was necessarily followed by expulsion from the tribe and deprivation of all legal right and protection. Further, it is to be remembered that in virtue of the intimate relation between the tribe and its god, every tribal custom is at the same time a religious custom i.e. , compliance with it is looked upon as a duty to the divinity by whom the custom is upheld. This was felt perhaps more keenly in Israel, than amongst other peoples ; law and righteous ness were the special concern of Yahwe ; in his name justice was dispensed and to him were all legal ordin ances referred. To a certain extent also Yahwe was the creator of the law. Through his servants the priests, he gave his decisions (n nin, toroth), which were to a large degree instructions on points of right. Such a divine utterance naturally becomes a law, in accord ance with which other cases of the same kind are afterwards decided. When viewed in this light the fact to our modern ideas so surprising- that all violations of religious observance are looked upon as crimes against the law and as ranking in the same category with civil offences, becomes intelligible. The worship of the tribal god forms a part, by no means the least important part, of the tribal custom ; no dis tinction between worship and other integral parts of tribal custom is perceived.

In this connection we must bear in mind that even before the monarchy Israel had attained a certain degree of unity in matters of law ; not in the sense that it possessed a written law common to all the tribes, or a uniform organisation for the pronouncing of legal judgments, but in the sense that along with a common god it had a community of custom and of feeling in matters of law. This community of feeling can be traced back very far ; it is not so done in Israel, and folly in Israel, which ought not to be done, are proverbial expressions reaching back to quite early times (Gen. 34:7, Josh. 7:15, Judg. 19:23, 20:10, 2 S. 13:12).

1 The reference in Jer. 52 20 to the twelve brasen bulls under the bases is apparently due to a confusion with the sea.

2. Change from nomad to settled life.[edit]

The settlement in Western Palestine, so important in all respects, was peculiarly important in its effect on the development of law. From the nature of the case the law had to be greatly extended. The new circumstances raised new legal problems. For one thing, the conception of private property has for peasants settled on the land a significance quite different from that which it possesses for nomads. Property with the Bedouin is uncertain ; it may be gained and lost in a night ; for peasants a certain security of ownership is indispensable. Again, with the settlement on the land a certain differentiation of ranks and classes became inevitable.

To the Bedouin social distinctions in our sense of the word are unknown ; within the tribe all are brothers ; no one is master and no one is servant. Life in village and town soon brings with it great distinctions. Rich and poor become high and low, and the protection of the poor and of the alien becomes a pressing task for the new system of law.

To these considerations it has to be added that, by the settlement, the bonds of clanship came to be gradually loosened, and their place taken, so far, by local unions (see GOVERNMENT, 15) ; upon this there naturally followed a weakening of the power which tribal custom had exercised through the family. The individual was not so dependent on the community ; he could with greater ease break loose from the restraints of custom. A certain relaxation of discipline began to make itself felt. The later view, therefore, which characterised the period of the judges as one of lawlessness (Judg. 17:6 etc.) is partly correct. Custom had lost its old power and required the support of some external authority.

3. Fixed tribunals.[edit]

The first step towards meeting this requirement was when, by the settlement, the heads of clans and communities ( see GOVERNMENT, 16), gradually acquired the character of a superior authority which could be regarded as having been appointed by Yahwe and could thus come forward with a claim to legal powers. Their judicial utterances had no longer merely a moral authority ; they had behind them the weight of the whole community, which was interested in giving them effect. The development of a kind of public law was thus possible. In one instance at all events this is plainly seen viz. , in the case of the penalty for manslaughter. Under the tribal system vengeance upon the manslayer is purely the affair of the avenger of blood -i.e., the family: the support of the tribe at large is involved only in cases where the slayer belongs to another tribe. In settled communities, however, the supreme authority must, from a very early date, have begun to recognise it as falling within its domain on the one hand to guarantee security of life, and, on the other, gradually to displace the perilous custom of blood revenge by itself taking in hand the punishment of the slayer.

This advance towards the formation of an outside authority was at first by no means an adequate substitute for the un qualified power of custom which it sought to displace, and this insufficiency showed the need of fuller political organisation. There must be an organisation that would render possible or guarantee the development and consistent administration of a uniform system of law.

The monarchy provided a system of uniform common law by furnishing a regular tribunal and by supporting with its authority the ancient customs and legal practices. The king and his officials were no legislators ; in fact for a considerable time after the establishment of the monarchy there was no real law at all in the modern sense. The judicial decisions of the king and his officials were determined simply by the ancient cus tomary practice, and some time, it would seem, passed before even this law was codified, although doubtless it may have been common from an early date for single legal decrees to be publicly posted up, for example, at the sanctuaries. The first attempt at a comprehensive collection of legal precepts and a book of laws is prob ably to be found in what is known as the Book of the Covenant, dating probably from the ninth century (Ex. 20:24-23:19 ; cp HEXATEUCH, 14, LAW LITERATURE, 6-9).

4. Book of the Covenant[edit]

A single glance shows that the appearance of the Book of the Covenant was not the introduction of a new law; the book was a setting down in writing of long-current legal practices. It nowhere enunciates great legal principles, or attempts to exhibit an abstract system of law, with a view to its application to concrete cases ; it is merely a collection of individual legal decisions. Its origin is clear. Either the frequent repetition of similar decisions had given rise to an established precedent, or a single decision had been given by a divine Torah in either case with the same result, that a fixed rule was established. Hence is explained the nature and scope of the contents of the collection. It deals exclusively with the circumstances and in cidents of every-day life ; such matters as the legal position of slaves, injuries to life or limb resulting from hostility or carelessness, damage to property, whether daughter or slave, cattle or crop. The ruling principle is still that of the jus talionis. Trade or commerce as yet there is none at least no laws are required for its regulation. That ordinances for the divine worship and general ethical precepts for the humane treatment of widows and strangers should also be included and placed on the same level will be readily understood after what has been said above (1). Still, a distinction is made between jus and fas at least in so far as the form of decree in the mispdtim (ethical and legal) differs from that in the dlbdrim (relating to religion and worship).

The object of this codification probably was to secure a greater degree of uniformity in adjudication and punishment. It is matter for surprise that we are nowhere informed by whom this collection was intro duced as an official law-book or whether it was ever so introduced at all. If what we are told regarding Jehoshaphat s legal reforms (2 Ch. 17:9) comes from a good source, it would be natural to think of him in this connection (see Benzinger, Comm. on 2 Ch. 17:9+). On the other hand, it is also equally possible that the Book of the Covenant was never an official law- book (like Dt. ) at all, that it was simply a collection undertaken privately (perhaps in priestly circles). As containing only ancient law and no new enactments, such a collection would need no kind of official intro duction but gradually come to be tacitly and universally accepted.

6. The law of D.[edit]

With the law of D the case is different ; it was brought in as the law of the state by a solemn act in the 18th year of Josiah (621 B.C.), when king and people made a solemn covenant pledging themselves to its faithful observance (see 2 K. 23:1+). This accords well with the fact that Dt. claims to be more than a mere compilation of the ancient laws ; it comes before us as a new system. Though in form and in contents alike it connects itself very closely with the Book of the Covenant, its literary dependence on it being unmistakable, it nevertheless, as a law-book, marks a great advance in comparison with the other, inasmuch as it embodies an attempt to systematise both the civil and the ecclesiastical law under a single point of view, that of the unique relation ship of God to his people. The norm for determining what is right and what is wrong is no longer merely ancient law and custom : the supreme principle is now the demand for holiness. As a consequence, much of what has long been established law must disappear ; in the sphere of worship, indeed, the law-book has ex pressly in view nothing less than a thorough -going reform. In spirit the legislation is characterised by its humanity ; humanitarian ordinances of all sorts, pro visions for the poor and for servants, for widows and orphans, for levites and strangers, have a large place.

6. The Priestly Law.[edit]

The priestly law in like manner, after the exile, was introduced much as D had been (Neh. 8-10). This law aims only at the regulation of worship ; law and ethics in the broader sense are purposely left alone ; the constitution now given to the community everywhere presupposes a state organisation and civil rights. It is only exceptionally that matters belonging to the domain of law properly so called are dealt with, and even in these instances that is done only in so far as the questions are connected with the hierocratic system of P. Within P, the law of holiness (H) forms a separate col lection (Lev. 17-26 and some other isolated precepts ; cp HEXATEUCH, 16+, LAW LITERATURE, 15, LEVITICUS, 13-23), though it does not seem ever to have received separate recognition, but only to have come into currency in conjunction with the Priestly Law as a whole. As distinguished from P, H includes ethical and legal enactments (especially Lev. 19 ), which are made from the point of view of the holiness of the people, as in Dt. (the mild humanity of which it also shares).

7. Oral law.[edit]

The torah, however, the written and official law, related only to a small part of civil life. Alongside of it was still left ample room for the play of ancient consuetudinary law. It is much to be regretted that in the literature which has come down to us we have no codification of this con suetudinary law in the form into which it had developed at the time of the introduction of the Priestly Law, and in which it is presupposed by that law. For long afterwards it continued to be handed down only by oral tradition, and even amongst the scribes of a later epoch there was still strong reluctance to commit the Haldchdh to writing.

The further development of law was the main business of the scribes. The tordh continued to be the immovable found ation ; the task that remained was, either by casuistical inter pretation of the written law or by determination of the con suetudinary law, to fill up the blanks of the tordh and bring into existence new precepts. The law thus arrived at which in authority soon came to rank alongside of the written tordh was comprehensively termed hiildchdh (consuetudinary law). As it gained in authority the scribes, though not formally recog nised as lawgivers, gradually came to be such in point of fact. The results of their legislative activity are embodied in the Mishna. This rests, however, on an older work of the period of R. Akiba b. Joseph (circa 110-135 A.D.), under whose influence it probably was that the hdldchdh hitherto only orally handed down first came to be codified. From what has been said it will be evident that the Mishna may very well contain many frag ments of ancient legal custom, but that it would he hopeless to attempt with its help to reconstruct the old consuetudinary Hebrew law as this existed (say) in the Persian or in the Grecian period. 1 (Cp LAW LITERATURE, 22./C)

1 On the Rabbis and the Mishna see Schiir. GVI H., 25.

8. Judiciary system.[edit]

All jurisdiction was originally vested in the family. The father of a family had unlimited powers of punishment (Gen. 38:24, cp Dt. 21:18+). With the coalescence of families into clans and tribes (see GOVERNMENT, 4) a portion of the family jurisdiction neces sarily also passed over to the larger group, and was thenceforth exercised by the heads of the clan or tribe. The old tradition in Israel was that the elders acted also as judges. All three variants of the story of the appointment of elders as judges (Ex. 18:13+, Nu. 11:16+, Dt. 1:13-14) have this feature in common that they place the elders alongside of Moses as his helpers in the government of the people i.e. , in pro nouncing judgments (in the gloss Dt. 1:15 the word is quite correctly given as heads of tribes ). The lighter cases come up before the elders, whilst Moses reserves the graver ones for himself. This judicial activity of the heads of tribes and clans we must, of course, regard, not as an innovation, but as an ancient usage. The tradition, however, is once more in accordance with the facts of the case when, as alongside of and overruling every human decision, the deity is regarded as the supreme king -judge. The weightiest matters, those namely with which human wisdom is unable to cope, come before God ; for Moses dispenses law as the servant and the mouth of God as a priest upon the basis of divine decisions (see above, i). The people come to him to inquire of God and he is their representative before God, to whose judgment he submits the case (Ex. 18:15-19). The same conditions continued through the later period ; alongside of the jurisdiction of the tribal heads and of the judiciary officers that of God as exercised through the priests was still maintained.

The entire position otherwise accorded to the elders shows that their judicial activity was not the consequence merely of an office with which they had been invested. Their authority as a whole, and in particular their judicial influence, was purely moral. In the main therefore we find the same conditions as are even now found to prevail among the Bedouins, and so far as the present subject is concerned we may safely venture to avail ourselves of what we know of these last to supple ment the deficiencies of our information regarding ancient Israel.

Amongst the Bedouins, also, then, it is within the competency of the sheikh to settle differences ; but his judgment has no compelling power : he cannot enforce it against the will of the parties and cannot order the slightest punishment upon any members of the tribe. The family alone can bring pressure to bear on the members. Further, many tribes have, in addition, a kadi, as a sort of judge of higher instance for graver cases ; for this office men distinguished by their keenness of judgment, love of justice, and experience in the affairs and customs of the tribe, are chosen. As a rule the office of kadi continues within the same family ; but even his judgment is not compulsory. There is no executive authority provided for carrying it out. If in the last resort a problem proves so involved that not even the kadi is able to solve it, nothing remains but to resort to the judgment of God (cp Burckhardt, Bern. 93 Jjf.)

As already remarked ( 2), after the settlement these elders in their character as heads of the local commun ities (zikne hair, Tj;n jpi) gradually acquired the powers of a governing body (cp GOVERNMENT, 16). So far as their jurisdiction was concerned, this meant that as judges they acquired a certain executive power for carrying out their judgments. How soon this develop ment took place, and with what modifications in detail, we do not know. Stories like those of the wise woman of Tekoa (2 S. \*/.} and of the trial of Naboth (i K. 218^) prove the lact, at least for the period of the earlier monarchy. Dt. knows of the elders as an organised judicial institution. From the manner in which the function of judging is assigned to them in certain cases, it is clearly evident that the elders also had executive powers (cp esp. Dt. 19:12, 21:2+, 22:15+). In this executive capacity they act as representing the entire body of the citizens ; this finds expression, in the case of death-penalty, in the fact that it is for the entire community to carry out the sentence (Dt. 17:7). A solitary exception is made in the punishment of murder ; even long after the unrestricted right of private revenge had been abolished, and trial of crimes against life had been brought within the competency of the regular courts, there survived a relic of the ancient deeply- rooted custom which gave the avenger of blood the right of personally carrying out the death sentence on the murderer (Dt. 19:12).

9. Judges.[edit]

(a) Elders. By inference from these facts we may safely conclude that the judges presupposed by the Book of the Covenant were in the first instance the elders of the different localities all the more so as the judicial competency of these elders must in the earlier times have been still more extensive than when the Book of the Covenant was written. Singularly enough, the Book gives no sort of indication of the composition of the tribunal, the forms of process, and so forth in this case also merely taking for granted the continuance of long-established custom.

It may be permissible to hazard the conjecture that in con nection with that dependent relation in which sometimes the mral districts stood to the larger or metropolitan cities, the jurisdiction of the city would extend also over its daughters (EV suburbs ; cp Nu. 21:25, 32:42, Josh. 13:23-28, 17:11, Judg. 11:26).

As the passages cited above ( 8) show, the jurisdiction of the elders continued to subsist under the monarchy.

(b) The King. Alongside of the jurisdiction of the elders, however, and to some extent limiting it, there arose the jurisdiction of the king. The king was judge par excellence (cp GOVERNMENT. 19). He constituted a kind of supreme tribunal to which appeal could be made where the judgment of the elders seemed faulty (2 S. 14:4+). Moreover, it was also open to the litigant to resort to the king as first and only judge (2 S. 15:2+, 2 K. 15:5), especially in difficult cases (1 K. 3:16+, Dt. 17:9, see below [7]). Of this privilege of the king some portion passed over to his officers also, who administered the law in his name. Unfortunately we have nothing to show how the jurisdiction of these officers stood related to that of the elders in its details, and whether (or how far) its range was limited. The same has to be said of the judicial activity of the priests. That they continued to possess judicial attributes is implied both by the Book of the Covenant and by Deuteronomy. Still, on this point an important differ ence between the two books is unmistakable. In the Book of the Covenant (Ex. 22:8 [7]), as in the ancient consuetudinary law, what is contemplated in cases of special perplexity is a divine decision, a torah of God to be obtained at the sanctuary ; God was the judge.

(c) The Priests. In Dt. on the other hand (17:9-10, 19:15+) the priests, thelevites, as judicial officers con stitute a sort of spiritual college of justice : the cause is not decided by means of an oracle or divine judgment ; the priests carefully investigate the case just like other judges. The studious care with which the sanctity of their judicial decisions is emphasised (17:10+) warrants the conjecture that the change is to be at tributed to D, especially as, throughout, we are left with the impression that D has it in view to enlarge the juris diction of the priests as widely as possible, at the expense of that of the elders. The elders retain within their competency only a limited class of offences.

The offences in question are merely such matters as affect in the first instance only the family a son s disobedience (21:19+), slander spoken against a wife (22:13+), declinature of a levirate marriage (25:7+), manslaughter, and blood-revenge (19:11+, 21:1+). Into the last-cited passage (21:5) a later hand has introduced the priests as also taking part in the proceed ings : 'for them Yahwe thy God has chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of Yahwe ; and according to their word shall every controversy and every stroke be' - an interpo lation which clearly shows in what direction lay the tendency of this legislation and its subsequent development. That this studious effort on the one side was viewed on the other with little favour is shown by the fact that in the central ordinance relating to the judicial function of priests (17:8+) the judge is by an intetpolation placed on a level with the priests. The simplest explanation is that it is the king who is intended here and that the object was to save his supreme judicial authority as against the pretensions of the Jerusalem priesthood (cp the quite analogous interpolation of the judges in 19:17-18).

The Chronicler carries back to Jehoshaphat the establishment of a supreme court of justice in Jerusalem and the appointment of professional judges in all the cities (2 Ch. 19:4-11).

Though not absolutely incredible, the statement is rendered (to say the least) somewhat improbable by the fact that in this supreme court the high priest is represented as hav ing the presidency in all spiritual, and the prince of the house of Judah in all secular, causes (see Benzinger, Catm. on 2 Ch. 19:4+). Apart from this, however, Dt. certainly seems to know of the existence of the professional judges in the various cities (16:18+).

Ezekiel and P continue to advance logically along the line laid down in D. In Ezekiel s ideal future state, in which the king is but a shadowy figure almost entirely divested of royal functions, judicial attributes are wholly assigned to the priests (Ezek. 44:24). That P also assigns the administration of the law, not to the secular authority but to the piiests, is clear from the representa tion of Chronicles according to which even David had appointed 6000 levites as judges ( i Ch. 23:4, 26:29). This theory, however, was never fully carried out.

In Ezra's time we meet, in the provincial towns, with pro fessional judges who are drawn not from the priesthood but from the ranks of the city elders (Ezra 7:25, 10:14). There were similar local courts throughout the country during the Greek and Roman periods (Judith 6:16 etc. ; Jos. BJ ii. 24:1 ; Shebi* ttk 104, SMA 13, Sank. 114 ; in Mt. 6:22, 10:17, Mk. 18:9, it is to these local synedria that reference is made). In localities of minor importance it was certainly by the council of the elders (cp Lk.7:3), the 0ovA?j, that judicial functions were exercised (cp Jos., I.c.); in the large towns no doubt there may also have been, over and above, special courts. In later times the rule was that the smallest local tribunal had seven members (cp GOVERNMENT, 31 ; also Schurer, Gl I 2\^/.). In large centres there were courts with as many as twenty-three members ; but in these, in certain cases (such as actions for debt, theft, bodily injury, etc.) three judges formed a quorum (Sanh. 1:1-3, 2:1). In certain cases priests had to be called in as judges (Sanh. 1 3). On the great Sanhedrin and its jurisdiction see GOVERNMENT, 31.

10. Judicial procedure.[edit]

Judicial procedure was at all times exceedingly simple. In an open place (Judg. 4:5, 1 S. 22:6), or under the shadow of the city gate, the judges took their seat (Dt. 21:19, 22:15, 25:7, Am. 6:12-15 pro ire. Ru. 4:l etc ) In Jerusalem Solomon erected a porch, or hall, of judgment, for his own royal court of justice (NES.I cSix, i K. 7:7). Plaintiff and defendant appeared personally, each for his own case (Dt. 17:5, 21:20, 25:1); on a charge being made the judge could call for the appearance of the accused (Dt. 25:8). Such an institution as that of a public prosecutor was unknown ; the state or the community in no case overstepped its judicial functions. In every case it was for the aggrieved or injured person to bring forward his complaint if he desired satisfaction. He also had it in his choice, however, to resort to the method of private arrangement, and refrain from coming before the court ; in this event, the matter was at an end, for no one else had an interest in bringing it into court. When there is no complainant there is no judge. The daysman is mentioned only in Job 9:33 (rrrV2).

The proceedings were as a rule by word of mouth, though in later times written accusations also seem to have been known (Job 31:35-36). The chief method of proof was by the testimony of witnesses. The father, indeed, who brought a stubborn and rebellious son before the judge needed no such support (Dt. 21:18+) ; but in all other cases the law invariably demanded the concurrent testimony of at least two persons ; on the word of only one witness a crime could in no circum stances be held as proven, still less any death-sentence pronounced (Dt. 17:6, 19:15, Nu. 35:3, Mk. 14568 Mt. 26:60). According to Talmudic law (Shebu'oth 30a ; Baba Kamma 88a ; cp Jos. Ant. iv. 8:15) only free men of full age were capable of bearing witness ; women and slaves were incapacitated - a rule, doubtless, in ac cordance with ancient custom, although the OT is silent on the subject. Whether the adjuration of witnesses which is alluded to in general terms in P (Lev. 5:1) was an ancient practice, we cannot say. A false witness was punished, according to the jus talionis, by the infliction of the precise kind of evil he had intended to bring upon his victim by his falsehood (Dt. 19:18+). The warnings so frequently repeated (as in Ex. 23:1, 20:16), such stories as that of Naboth (i K. 21), and the remonstrances of the prophets, show that the evil of false testimony was by no means rare.

Where, from the nature of the case, witnesses were not to be had, the accused was put upon his oath (Ex. 22:6-11 [7-12]). In specially obscure cases God was looked to for the discovery of the guilty party (Ex. 22:8 [7], 1 S. 14:40-41. Josh. 7:14). The only trace remaining in the later law of a divine ordeal (see JEALOUSY, TRIAL OF) is in the case of a wife accused of adultery (Nu. 5:11+). Torture, as a means of obtaining confessions, was not employed ; the Herodian dynasty by whom it was employed freely seem to have been "the first to bring it into use (Jos, BJ i. 30:2-5).

Judgment, in the earlier times pronounced orally, but later occasionally given in writing (Job 13:26), was as a rule carried out forthwith in presence of the judge (Dt. 22:18, 25:"); in case of a capital sentence the witnesses wen- required to be the first to set about its execution, and the whole community was expected to take an active part (Dt. 17:7).

Though in the paragraphs that follow, the various laws are arranged according to their substance, it must from the outset be clearly borne in mind that the ancient law of the Hebrews does not admit of close correlation with the Roman or with the modern systems based on the Roman, and in particular that the sharp distinction between penal and private law by which these last were characterised does not admit of being transferred to the former. One of the most striking illustrations of this is to be found in the manner in which theft is regarded by Hebrew law.

11. Penal law and Jus talionis.[edit]

In Hebrew law the dominant principle is the jus talionis - 'an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth' (Ex 21:2 ). To understand this properly, it has to be borne in mind that, in the earliest stage of development which has been described above, a principle of this kind had its applicability not as a norm for penalties to be judicially indicted, but only as regulative of private vengeance. It is for the individual himself to pursue his rights ; by universal custom he is entitled to do to the aggressor exactly what the aggressor has done to him. In particular, in the most serious case of all, that of murder, the blood-relation not only has the right, but is under the sacred duty, to avenge the tleed. In savage stages of society the demand for vengeance is held to lie the most righteous and sacred of all feelings ; the man who does not exact vengeance is devoid of honour.

An unqualified jus talionis makes endless every affair where it has once been introduced. This appears most clearly in blood-revenge. Naturally, therefore, in the early stage of legal development now under considera tion, when the affair is held to concern private in dividuals only, the injured party has also the right to come to some other arrangement with the aggressor ami accept compensation in the shape of money or its equivalent (ep the law of the Twelve Tables : si mem- bnnn ruit, ni cum eo paicit talio esfo}. It was a great forward step which the Israelites made doubtless before they took possession of western Palestine when compensation of this kind was allowed to take the place of revenge pure and simple. In doing so they took the most essential first step towards the substitution of public criminal law for private revenge. Compensation cannot for long withdraw itself from the control of general custom, and then there gradually comes into existence a certain definite scale in accord ance with which such matters are adjusted (cp Ex. 21:22). At an early period Hebrew custom seems to have demanded such a mode of settlement for every kind of bodily injury (Ex. 21:18) ; but the earlier usage did not sanction the acceptance of blood-wit, except in the one case of accidental homicide (Ex. 21:30).

Penal law, in the strict sense of the expression, constitutes a third stage, its distinctive feature being that the duty of revenge is taken over from the in dividual by society at large. Revenge now becomes punishment, that which regulates it is the general interest of the community at large. Custom, and afterwards statute, determine the kind and measure of the penalty ; the leaders of the society, the constituted authorities, take in hand the duty of seeing it carried out.

In the ancient Hebrew view of the matter, however, the object of punishment is not completely attained, even when the ideas of retribution and of compensation have found expression. Grave crimes, and specially murder, defile the land; the guilt lies upon the entire people (cp 2 S. 21:24). The blood of the slayer alone can appease the divine wrath and cleanse the land (Nu. 35:33 ; cp 2 S. 21). Evil has to be removed from the midst of the people by means of punishment (Dt. 19:19).

In close connection with the thought of the transmissibility of guilt, is the idea which makes children, in particular, specially liable for the crimes of their fathers. Even the regularly con stituted courts of justice, in specially grave cases, punish capitally the children along with their fathers (2 K. 9:26 Josh. 7:24). In a special degree is blood-guiltiness hereditary ; if the avenger of blood cannot lay hold on the murderer himself, he can lay hold on his family. The custom is the same among the Bedouins to this day. In legal practice it is not abolished till Dt. ( 24:16).

12. Methods of punishment.[edit]

In the law the only recognised form of capital punishment is by stoning. In such instances as we find in 2 S. 1:15, 2 K. 10:7-25, Jer. 26:23, etc., we are not dealing with punishments awarded by a court of law. In the priestly law, and doubtless also by ancient custom, the death-penalty was enhanced in certain cases by the burning or hanging (more correctly, impalement) of the body, by which the criminal was deprived of the privileges of burial (Lev. 20:14, 21:9, Dt. 21:22 ; cp Josh. 7:25). Dt. here again has a mitigating tendency, en joining, as it does, the burial of the body that has been hanged, before sundown.

As to the manner in which stoning was carried out we have no details; it occurred without the city (Lev. 24:14, Nu. 16:36, 1 K. 21:10+, etc.) ; it fell to the witnesses to cast the first stone (Dt. 17:7). According to Gen. 38:24, execution of the death- penalty by burning seems also to have been customary in Israel. Crucifixion crudelissimum teterrimumque supplicium (Cic. Verr. 5:64) was first introduced into Palestine by the Romans; see, further, CROSS, and cp, generally, HANGING.

The first express mention of beating with rods or scourging as a punishment occurs in Dt. (25:1-3); but unfortunately we are not told what were the cases in which the judge was permitted or required to award it, except in the single instance described in Dt. 22:13+ (unjust charge against a newly-married bride). The manner of carrying it out is also described, the judge shall cause [the culprit] to lie down, and to be l>caten lie fore his face (Dt. 25:2); not more than forty stripes may lie given. The later interpreters of the law limited the number to forty save one (2 Cor. 11:24, Jos. Ant. iv. 8:21-23), doubtless so as to avoid a breach of the law by an accidental error in reckoning, but perhaps also because in the late period there was substituted for the rod a three-thonged scourge, with which thirteen strokes were given.

The money penalties known to the law are really of the nature of compensations, not strictly punishments (cp CONFISCATION). On the other hand, in 2 K. 12:16 [17], we read of trespass money and sin money which belonged to the priests ; but for what offences these moneys were to be paid we do not know ; probably they were fines for breaches of ritual.

Of penal restraints upon freedom neither ancient consuetudinary law nor written statute knows anything. On the other hand, however, we have in the historical books frequent mention of imprisonment, stocks and shackles, or collars (cp COLLAR, 3), as methods by which kings sought to discipline disobedient servants or dangerous persons like the prophets (Jer. 20:2, 29:26, 2 Ch. 16:10, l8:25-26) ; and imprisonment certainly appears in post-exilic times as a legal form of punishment to l>e awarded by the judge (Ezra 7:26). See PRISON.

From the modern point of view it is a striking fact that the Hebrew legislation regards no punishments as involving dis grace. In Dt. 25:3 the punishment by beating is expressly restrained within certain limits lest thy brother should seem vile unto thee. The ancient Israelite, like the modern Oriental, differed entirely from us moderns in his conception of personal honour; murder and homicide, adultery and unchastity, false hood and treachery are in his view matters which do not greatly affect a man s honour, even when they have been detected and punished.

13. Degree of punishment.[edit]

In details the penal enactments which have been preserved are very meagre and defective. In cases of manslaughter, as we have seen blood revenge was a sacred duty in the olden time. 'Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed (Gen. 9:5-6) was at all times regarded as a divine principle ; the duty of blood revenge belongs to the nearest relation, the GOEL, (q.v. ). In principle the right to such revenge is every where recognised also by the law (Dt. 19:1-13, Nu. 35:16-21). Still, the transition to a more settled and orderly condition of society entailed the result (among others), that the superior authority, as soon as there began to be such an authority, took blood vengeance also into its own hand, and thus converted it into a death penalty (2 S. 14:4+). It would appear, however, that in pre-exilic times it never succeeded in wholly sup pressing private vengeance. The most important re striction of it lay in the distinction now made between murder and manslaughter. Even the Book of the Covenant distinguished the case in which a man came presumptuously upon his neighbour to slay him with guile, and that in which he lay not in wait but God did deliver him (his adversary) into his hand (Ex. 21:12+}. It also recognised within certain limits the rights of an owner in defending his property (Ex. 22:2-3 [1-2]). Similarly, in Dt. (19:11-13), in a case of violent death a man s known hatred of his adversary is taken as evidence of murderous intention. P gives the dis tinctive features of murder with more precision and somewhat differently ; murder is presumed not only where hatred and enmity, or lying in wait, can be proved, but also where a lethal weapon has been used with fatal effect. From the dangerous character of the weapon, murderous intention is inferred (Nu. 35:16+). In the case of murder all forms of the law allow free course to blood-revenge, that is to say, the death- penalty is ordered, and that with the express injunction that a composition by payment of blood-wit is not to be permitted (Nu. 35:31). The manslayer, on the other hand, enjoys the right of asylum ; see ASYLUM.

In ancient times the right of asylum prevailed at every sanctuary (Ex. 21:11). The abolition by D of the sanctuaries scattered over the country made necessary the setting apart of special cities of refuge, of which D names three for Judah, P three for E. Palestine and W. Palestine respectively (Nu. 35:11+. Dt. 4:41+). In the earlier period the right of asylum belonging to the sanc tuaries had doubtless been unlimited. Still, even the Book of the Covenant, and afterwards D, assume, what P expressly ordains (Ex. 21:14), that inquiry is to be made whether the case is one of murder or of manslaughter. If it is found to be murder, the city of refuge must relentlessly give up the murderer to the avenger(Ex. 21:14, Dt. 19:11+, Nu. 35:11+). For manslaughter an amnesty at the death of the high priest was introduced in post-exilic times (Nu. 35:25). Formerly, according to P, there was no such relief; if ever the manslayer left the territory of the city of refuge, he was at the mercy of the avenger (Nu. 35:32-33).

In the case of bodily injuries, also, the law permits the application of talio only where intention is to be presumed. In injuries inflicted in course of a quarrel, for example, the Book of the Covenant provides that the aggressor shall only defray the expenses incurred and compensate the injured person for his loss of time (Ex. 21:18+). For another particular case of injury which may be met by a fine, see Ex. 21:22.

The enactments relating to certain gross offences against morality are characteristic (cp MARRIAGE, 2). The penalty is death ( Lev. 20:10+, Ex. 22:18 [20]) in each case, as also for the offence specified in Lev. 20:18. In cases of adultery the injured husband had at all times the right to slay the unfaithful spouse and take venge ance on her seducer. Dt. categorically demands on religious grounds the death of both. Only where violence can be presumed is the woman exempted (Dt. 22:25-26).

On the other hand the seduction of an unbetrothed maid was regarded as a damage to property, affecting her family, and as such was dealt with on the principles of private law (Ex. 22:15 [16], Dt. 22:26-27). That the father in such a case was at liberty to exercise very stringent legal rights is shown by Gen. 38. According to P (Lev. 21:9) only priests daughters were liable to punishment that of death in these cases. (Cp MARRIAGE 4, 6).

That offences against religion came in the fullest sense under the cognisance of the law has been mentioned above ( i), also the reasons for that being so. Idolatry and witchcraft are already made punishable with death in the Book of the Covenant (Ex. 22:18-20 [17-19]). In thfe respect Dt. is exceptionally strict ; even solicitation to the worship of strange gods is a capital offence (13:7-16). Finally, P places every deliberate transgression of any religious ordinance, such as breach of the sabbath, or the like, on a level with the crime of blasphemy, which carries with it the penalty of being cut off from one's people (Lev. 24:15).

14. Personal rights.[edit]

To private law belong personal rights and the laws affecting property, bonds and obligations, inheritance and marriage. Inheritance and marriage are dealt with elsewhere (see MARRIAGE, 1, 7, and cp below, 18). In harmony with the unanimous view of the ancient world, only the adult free male member of the community capable therefore of bearing arms and of carrying out blood revenge was regarded as invested with full legal rights.

(a) Sons and daughters. The son not yet grown up and the unmarried daughter are completely under the power of the father, as also are the married woman and the slave. Lists of fully qualified citizens appear to have been drawn up from a tolerably early date ; the image of the book of life, already employed by J (Ex. 32:32; cp Is. 43), would seem to be derived from this practice, though express evidence regarding it is not forthcoming till later (Jer. 22:30, Ezek. 13:9, Neh. 7:5, 6:4, 12:22-23). The fact that at a later period the twentieth year was taken as the age of majority and fitness to bear arms (Nu. 1:3, Lev. 27:3+) , affords some ground for inferring that a similar rule held good for the earlier times also ; but it must not be forgotten that under the patriarchal tribal constitution the indepen dence even of grown-up sons is only relative. The original significance of circumcision as an act denoting the attainment of the privileges of full age is treated of elsewhere (see CIRCUMCISION, 5). Women appear to have been universally and in every respect regarded as minors so far as rights of property went ; at least, apart from female slaves, they hold no property that they can deal with as they please. They are incapable of bearing testimony before a court of justice (see above, 10). See further FAMILY, MARRIAGE, SLAVERY.

(b) Strangers and foreigners. In the case of aliens distinction must be made between the ger (nj) and the nokri ("*) (See STRANGER AND SOJOURNER.) The word nokri denotes the alien who stands in no relationship of protection towards any Israelite trilie. A person in this category would as a rule make but a brief sojourn in the land ; in cases when a longer residence was con templated application would naturally be made for tribal protection. The nokri in any case of course enjoyed the ordinary rights of hospitality, which means a great deal, great sanctity attaching to the rights of guests. Apart from this, however, he simply has no rights at all (cp Gen. 31:15, Job 19:15) ; the very laws in the humane legislation of D which contemplate the case of the poor and the depressed in the social scale the law of remission in the seventh year, the law against usury, and the like never once have any application to him (Dt. 15:3, 23:20 [21]). It is quite otherwise, however, with the ger i.e., the alien to the people or to the tribe (for the older period what applies to the people applies to the tribe 1 ) who has been received within the territory of one of the tribes or of the nation as a whole, has effected a settlement there, and acquired the status of a protected person. Such a ger stood under the protection of the tribal god, and enjoyed, among the Hebrews, not indeed the full privileges of a citizen, yet, in comparison with what was obtainable among other peoples, a high degree of immunity and protection. In particular his position had this advantage, that it greatly prepared the way for complete incorporation with the tribe. In the older time he had the right of connubium ; it was in this way that the Canaanites were gradually absorbed (see MARRIAGE, 2).

1 A non-Judahite Levite is within the tribe of Judah as much a ger as is the Canaanite ; cp Judg. 17:7.

The children of a marriage between a ger and an Israelitess were regarded as entitled to full Israelite privileges (cp 1 Ch. 2:17); in the case of the children of an Israelite by a foreign wife this was, as might be expected, a matter of course (cp for example Boaz and Ruth). It was otherwise, indeed, when the case was not that of an alien settling as ger in the country or marrying into it, but of a foreigner who still maintained the tie with his own people and who was followed by his wife to his home ; Hiram the artificer was regarded as a Tyrian although his mother was a Naphtalite ; she had followed her husband to his native land and thereby had come under the protection of the Tyrians (1 K. 7:13-14). The converse case is that of Samson s marriage, which, however, has an exceptional character (see KINSHIP, 8); here the Philistine woman remains in her own home and is only visited from time to time by her husband ; in such circumstances the children of the union would not have been regarded as Israelites (Judg. 14, 15:1-2).

From what has been said as to the meaning of cir cumcision (see CIRCUMCISION, 5) it seems doubtful whether uncircumcised gerfm also had the right of connubium. In general, the Book of the Covenant enjoined that the ger was not to be treated with violence (Ex. 22:21 [20], 23:9), and, as we gather from the context, was above all to be secured, without any partiality, in his full rights as a protected stranger before the courts of law. On the other hand the ger apart from the Canaanites, who naturally formed an exception here was manifestly excluded from the right of acquiring heritable property within the territory of the tribes of Israel (cp Mic. 2:5, Is. 22:16, Ezek. 47:22, where the per mission to do so is brought in as an innovation).

D renews in a great variety of forms the injunction to treat the stranger (who is placed upon a level with the Levite, the widow, and the orphan) humanely and kindly (10:18, 14:29, 24:14-19+}, to admit him to participa tion in the general gladness at festal times (5:14, 16:11+), and not to pervert his right (24:17, 27:19). Just because the stranger, as such, occupies an inferior position he has a double need for love (10:19, 26:1-11). On the other hand his position in D is altered for the worse in this respect that the right of connubium is taken away (Dt. 7:1+, 23:3+ [4+], Ex. 34:15-16), and undeniably for D the ger and still more the nokrl occupy a lower position in the scale of humanity (cp Dt. 14:21). In all this it is regarded as a matter of course that the ger shall in a certain sense at least accommodate himself to the religion of his protectors (Ex. 23:12, 20:10, Dt. 5:14, 16:11+, 26:11, 31:12). Still, even in this respect the older times demanded but little ; he might even keep up his own sacra (cp 1 K. 11:7-8, 16:31); moreover, he need not observe the rule with regard to clean and unclean meats (Dt. 14:21).

P carries its demands upon the ger much farther ; he is required to shun idolatry, the eating of blood or that which is torn, and in general everything that as an abomination could defile the Israelite (Lev. 17:8-15, 18:26, 20:2, Nu. 19:10-12 ; cp Dt. 14:21).

Not only is he obliged to observe the sabbath and permitted to share in the feast of the ingathering, he is also under obliga tion to fast with the Israelites on the day of atonement (Lev. 16:29), may not eat any leaven in the passover week (Ex. 12:19 ; the feast itself he is precluded from joining in, unless he be circumcised), must make atonement for all transgressions of the law exactly as Israelites do (Nu. 15 14 26 29), and in general keep holy the name of Yahwe (Lev. 24 16) all this in the interests of Israel, that there be no sin among the people.

On the other hand the ger enjoys the fullest protection in the eye of the law ; not only are the protective in junctions of D renewed (Lev. 19:9-10, cp 23:22, 25;6), but also equal rights before the judgment seat are expressly secured to him (Lev. 24:22, Nu. 35:15), an essential advance on the mere appeal to humanity contained in the older laws. The points in which his privileges still fall short of those of the full citizen are mainly two : he is excluded from the worship properly so-called e.g. , from the Passover (Ex. 12:47-48), perhaps also from the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 28:42) - and is denied the right of connubium (Ezra 9:1-2, 9:11+, 10:2+].

Both privileges are obtainable only on condition that he re ceives circumcision, that is to say, becomes fully incorporated with the commonwealth of Israel (Ex. 12:47-48, Nu. 9:14, Gen. 34:14). Further, the acquisition of landed property is rendered impossible to him by the operation of the law of the year of jubilee (see below, 15). Finally, no ger can own an Israelite slave. Should it ever come about that an Israelite comes under the power of a ger on account of debt, the latter is bound to treat him not as a slave, but as a free labourer, and the relations of the debtcr retain at all times the right to redeem him (Lev. 25:47+).

Thus the ger is by no means treated as on a complete equality with the Israelite.

The laws concerning property, so far as they have come clown to us, relate to the disposal of real and movable estate, borrowing and lending, bonds and obligations.

15. Buying and selling.[edit]

Buying and selling in ancient Israel were transacted in very simple fashion, and the various questions arising out of error, fraud, or over-reaching seldom if ever arose. Israel was not at this period a commercial people.

Certain formalities in the more important transactions of buying and selling, especially in the transfer of land, became customary and obligatory from an early period. The simplest and most ancient of all, doubtless, was that which required that the purchase should take place in the presence of witnesses (cp Gen. 28:7-20). Trans actions of this kind (as of ever} other kind) might be further ratified by oath and gift.

The first mention of a formal deed of sale occurs in the time of Jeremiah (Jer. 32:6+); according to the simplest interpreta tion of the passage it was executed in duplicate, one copy being sealed and the other open, both copies being handed over for preservation to the custody of a third party (otherwise Stade in ZA TIV 5 176 [1885]). In the case of such a document witnesses and signatures would of course not be lacking. From Jer. 32:44 we can see that in the time of Jeremiah the execution of a written deed was usual where transfer of land was concerned.

Another ancient custom is met with in the Book of Ruth (47); the seller gave his shoe to the buyer in token of his divesting himself of his right of ownership over the object sold. In connection with this is to be interpreted the expression in Ps. 60:8 [10] (cp 108:9 [10]), where casting one s shoe over a thing signifies the act of taking possession (see SHOES, 4).

The same symbolical action came into use (Dt. 25:9) in cases where a levirate marriage was declined a declinature practically equivalent to renunciation of right of inheritance. The original meaning of the ceremony is no longer clear to us ; nor do we know whether it was regularly observed, or for how long a period ; the writer of Ruth knows it only as an archaeological fact.

A limit was set to the free disposal of property by the duties of piety which a person owed to his ancestors. To ancestral land the Israelite like any other peasant proprietor felt himself bound by the closest ties. The paternal property was sacred ; there, often, the father was buried, and children and children's children were expected also to be laid there (1 K. 213). It is in this fact that we are to seek the explanation of the provisions regarding the right of redemption that acted as a check upon the right of free sale. Ancient custom from an early date had given the kinsman (lawful heir ?) a right of pre-emption and also of buy ing back (Jer. 326 +). A legal enactment on this subject, it is true, does not occur earlier than in P (Lev. 25:25-26). It is open to question whether the right of repurchase there conferred upon the proprietor himself rests upon ancient legal custom ; the enactment in P stands most intimately connected with the year of jubilee. The right is unlimited as regards holdings or houses in the country ; but in the case of houses in walled towns it lapses in the course of a year (Lev. 25:29+). This also may well have been in accordance with the ancient practice. On the other hand, the regulation according to which all real property which has been sold (houses in towns alone excepted) shall revert again to the old proprietor at the year of jubilee occurring every fiftieth year (see JUBILEE), and without compensation (Lev. 25:13+), belongs to the theory peculiar to P. The effect of course is to convert every purchase into a lease merely, of fifty years at the longest.

16. Borrowing and lending.[edit]

Borrowing and lending. Here also down to the post-exilic period the provisions of the law indicate great simplicity in the relations of debtors and creditors. Even D contemplates only those cases in which indebtedness of one Israelite to another is the result of individual poverty ; it knows nothing of any kind of credit system such as necessarily springs up with the development of commerce. This fact must never be lost sight of, if we are to understand the old laws, which do not admit of application to the circumstances of commerce and of which the manifest object is simply to protect the poor debtor against the oppression of a tyrannical creditor (cp PLEDGE).

The old consuetudinary law took for granted that the creditor would seek security by exacting a pledge. In this case he was prohibited by ancient custom from detaining the outer garment of the needy debtor after sundown, this garment being practically his only covering (Ex. 22:26 [25]). Moreover, propriety forbade the exaction of usury from a fellow Israelite (nothing, however, is said as to any distinction between legitimate and usurious interest [Ex. 22:25 (24)] ; the clause, ye shall exact no usury of him is a later gloss in the sense of D ; cp We. CH 92). The debtor who was unable to meet his obligations was liable not only to the utmost limit of his property, but also in his own person and in the persons of his family ; the creditor could sell them as slaves (2 K. 4:1 Neh. 5 5 6 Is. 50:1 ). In the Book of the Covenant, however, it is already provided that an enslaved debtor and his belongings shall be released in the seventh year of his enslavement a provision that amounts to a remission of the remaining debt (Ex. 21:27).

That these humane regulations were unsuccessful in the attainment of their object is shown by the constant complaint of the prophets who, with one voice, reproach the rich for their hardness in dealing with their debtors. In full sympathy with the prophetic spirit, D accordingly made the regulations more stringent.

The prohibition against taking the mantle in pledge was ex tended with great practical judgment so as to include all indis pensable necessaries (246 13 17). In no case is the creditor to make selection of the pledge that suits him in the house of the debtor ; he must take the pledge the latter chooses (24:10-11). The prohibition of usury is so extended as to forbid interest of any kind. So far as fellow-Israelites are concerned there is no distinction between usury and interest (Dt. 23:19-20 [20-21]., cp Ezek. 18:15+). In the case of the foreigner, on the other hand, the taking of usury is allowed.

The law relating to releasing enslaved debtors was extended by D so as to enjoin the remission of every debt in the seventh year (Dt. 15:1+; cp especially v. 9 which makes it impossible to interpret the law [with Di.] as meaning merely that repayment of the debt is postponed for a year). That the law was thoroughly unpractical indeed, and that, strictly carried out, it would put a speedy end to all lending whatever, the framer himself shows that he is more or less aware ; hence his urgent appeal to the benevolence of his com patriots : Beware that there be not a base thought in thine heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand ; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou give him nought (v. 9, cp the cold comfort of v. 11). With these exhortations Ezek. 18:5-6 may be compared. It is not to be wondered at that precepts so impracticable in many parts should have had no very great result (cp Jer. 34:8+). The Jews of later times understood very well how to evade them; the famous Hillel is credited with the invention of the frosbul viz. , a proviso set forth in presence of the judge whereby the creditor secured the right of demand ing repayment at any time irrespective of the occurrence of the year of remission.

The regulations of the Priestly code were, broadly speaking, as unpractical as those we have been considering.

The prohibition of usury remains in force (Lev. 25:35+). The selling of the debtor into slavery is permitted, but mitigated by the injunction that his master must treat him as if he were a free labourer for wages. The emancipation is no longer fixed for the seventh year of slavery, but, in correspondence with the whole scheme of P, is postponed to the year of jubilee, recurring every fifty years. In this year also all real property that has been sold reverts to the family to whose inheritance it originally belonged. This on the one hand guards against the unfortunate possibility of the liberated slave finding himself in a state of destitution ; but on the other hand the postponement to the fiftieth year makes the whole provision illusory so far as many of the enslaved are concerned. Another law, this, which never gained a permanent footing.

Of suretyship the law has nothing to say. That such a thing was known and that it had led to some disastrous experiences, is shown by certain of the proverbs, which are so pointedly directed against it ( Prov. 6:1+, 22:26-27).

17. Damages.[edit]

Compensation for damage to property. In the Book of the Covenant the ruling principle for this is that liability attaches only to the party whose culpability (whether intentional or unintentional) can be proved, or legally presumed. Such culpability attaches, to begin with, very clearly in cases of deliberate injury, especially in that of theft. If it is sought to apply to Hebrew law the distinction made in the Civil Law between private law and penal law, theft falls under the former category ; this appears from the fact that it establishes a claim to compensation only, and is not liable to punishment as a crime. At most, the compensation exacted assumed a penal character only in so far as by ancient consuetudinary law its amount had to exceed the value of what had been stolen (double, for money ; fourfold for sheep, fivefold for cattle ; see Ex. 21:37 [22:1], 22:3 [2], 22:6 [5]).

If the thief cannot be detected with certainty the party found guilty (in cases where two Israelites are concerned) after appeal to God (efohiin) by the lot must pay double to the other (Ex. 22:8+ [7+]). In cases of unintentional damage, however, compensation was also exigible wherever gross carelessness could be proved, as, for example, where a water-pit had been left open and a neighbour s beast had fallen into it (Ex. 21:33), or where cattle left at large had wrought havoc in a cultivated field (Ex. 22:5 [4]), or where a goring ox had done any mischief (Ex. 21:32-36), or when cattle had been stolen from a careless herdsman (Ex. 22:11 [10]) ; cp on the other hand v. 12 [11]; see DEPOSIT. Other instances are given in Ex. 22:6 [5], 22:14 [13]. On the other hand where no culpability can be made out, there is no obligation to compensate, as for example where moneys entrusted have been stolen from the custodian (Ex. 22:7-8 [6-7]), where a domestic animal has been torn by wild beasts (22:10-11 [9-10], 13 [12]); cp also 22:14 [13] with 22:15 [14], 21:35 with 21:36. On these points D has not any more definite enactments.

The occasional references in P are in agreement with the mildness of the ancient law. Whoever has em bezzled, or stolen, or appropriated lost property is mildly dealt with if he voluntarily confesses his fault ; he must restore what he has unlawfully appropriated and pay a fifth of the value, over and above, as a fine (Lev. 24:18-21, 5:20-24 [6:1-5]).

18. Inheritance.[edit]

The right of inheritance among the Israelites belonged only to agnates - the only relations in the strict sense of the word - the wife's relations belong to a different family or even to a different tribe. Only sons, not daughters, still less wives, can inherit. There are traces to show that in the earliest times the wives, as the property of the man, fell to his heir along with the rest of his estate a custom which among the Arabs continued to hold even to Mohammed's time (cp 2 S. 16:21-22, 1 K. 2:13+, 2 S. 3:7-8; also Gen. 49:3-4, cp 35:22 ; the whole institution of levirate marriages probably finds its explanation here) ; cp MARRIAGE, 7, KINSHIP, 10. The law of inherit ance, as just stated, appears to have been common to all the Semites (WHS, Kin. 54, 264), in this respect differing in an impoitant point from that of Rome, which otherwise was also one of agnates ; in Roman law at least daughters still remaining under the paternal roof could inherit. Stade (GVI 1:390+) deduces the custom, so far as Israel is concerned, from the ancestor- worship which anciently prevailed there ; he alone could inherit who was capable of carrying on the cult of the person from whom he inherited. It seems preferable, however, with Robertson Smith (I.c.) to seek the ex planation in the connection between inheritance and the duty of blood revenge. Among other Semitic peoples all on whom this duty lay had also, originally, the right of inheritance. In Old German law likewise the two were intimately connected.

Among the sons, ancient custom gave to the firstborn (i.e., to the eldest son of the father) a double portion (Dt. 21:17 ; cp FIRSTBORN). It was indeed always possible for the father to deprive the eldest son of this birthright and bestow it upon a younger son (cp Gen. 49:3, 21:1+, 1 K. 11:1-13), and the favourite wife (as might be expected) seems frequently to have contrived this for the benefit of her own eldest son. Custom, how ever, did not approve of this passing by of the eldest son, and D, in agreement with the ancient usage, posi tively forbade it (21:15-17).

Whether the landed property also was divided we do not know ; the more probable view is that it fell undivided to the firstborn, who had to make some kind of provision for the others. The privilege of the firstborn must have carried with it one obligation at least that of maintaining the female members of the family who remained unmarried ; by the death of the father the first born became at any rate head of the family.

The sons of concubines had also a right of inheritance (Gen. 21:10-11), but whether on an equality with the other sons we do not know. It must be remembered that Hebrew antiquity did not recognise a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate unions in the sense of the Graeco-Roman jurisprudence (see FAMILY, 8). Much, however, depended, it would seem, on the goodwill of the father and of the brother, and no fixed legal custom established itself. By adoption of course full right of inheritance was conferred.

When a man died without leaving sons, the nearest agnate inherited ; but along with the inheritance he took over the duty of marrying the widow of the deceased (see MARRIAGE, 7-8). If this was not done, the childless widow returned to her own father s house, whence she was free to marry a second time (Gen. 38:11, Lev. 22:13, Ruth 1:8-9).

The later law exhibits a change only with respect to the inheritance of daughters, conferring upon these the right to inherit, in the absence of sons. It is still only by exceptional favour that the daughters in herit along with the sons (Job 42:15). The express object of the alteration of the law is stated to be to prevent a man s name being lost to his family (Nu. 27:4). At the same time, however, the inheriting daughters are enjoined to marry only within their father s tribe, so that the family estate may not pass to an outside family (Nu. 36:1-12). As has been pointed out by Stade (GVI 1:391), it is not improbable that in this we have a compromise with the older view according to which, strictly, the nearest agnate ought to inherit, undertaking at the same time the duty of levirate marriage (see FAMILY, 8), just as was the case in old Athens, where the inheriting agnate had the duty either of marrying the daughter, or of making a provision for her suitable to her station. The later law made provision also for the case of there being no marriageable daughter, enacting that in that event the relations of the husband and not those of the wife were to inherit (Nu. 27:5-11).

19. Literature.[edit]

J- D. Michaelis, Mosaisches RechtV) (1775) ; J. L. Saalschiitz, Das Alosaische Recht ncbst den vtrvotistanditvitdtn Talmudisch - rablnnischen Bestimtmtngen ( z ) (1853); Schnell,X>Mw/. Recht in seinen Grundziizendrtrgestelltdl:^; the Hebrew Archaeologies of De Wette, Ewald, Keil, Schegg, Benzinger, Nowack ; articles in the Dictionaries of Herzog, Winer, Schenkel, and Riehm ; Kuenen, Over de Samenstelling van het Sanhedrin in I erslagen en Mededeelingen der R . Acad. van Wettnschapen \t,\ff. (1866); Schiirer, Gil 2 143^; Klein, Das Gesetz fiber das gerichtliche Beiueisverfahren nach viosaisch-talmudisches Recht (1885); Frenkel, Der gerichtlictte Beiveis (1846); Duschak, Das Mosaische St>-afrrcht (1869); Goitein, Vergeltungsprincip im bibl. u. talmud. Strafrecht in Magazinf.d. Wissenschaft d. Judenthums (1802); Diestel, Die religiosen Delicte im israelit. Strafrecht in .// / . r )2Q7/?:; A. P. Bissell, The Law of Asylum in Israel (1884); Wildeboer, De Pentateuchkiitik en het Mozaische Strafrecht in Tijd. v. Strafrecht, 4205^, ^>^\ff., Selden, De Succcssionibus ad leges llebritornin in bona de- functorum, 1631 ; A. Bertholet, Die Stetlung der Israiliten u. Judcnzu den J remden (1896). j B


  • Jewish theory (1).
  • Written laws (2).
  • Why written ? (3).
  • Circulation (4).
  • Historical periods ( 5) :
    • 1. Before Josiah ( 6-9).
    • 2. Age of Josiah ( 10-13).
    • 3. Exilic period (14-16).
    • 4. Early post-exilic (17-19).
    • 5. Late post-exilic (20-21).
    • 6. Rabbinic (22-23).

In the present article we have to consider the origin, the history, and the general characteristics of those parts of the OT which are immediately con nected with Hebrew law. In the main these are to be found in the Pentateuch ; outside the Pentateuch the most important piece of Law Literature is the closing section of Ezekiel (40-48). The main elements in this literature consist of (a) actual laws or decisions in written form, (6) legal theory, including casuistical discussions which become prominent in post- biblical literature (e.g. the Mishna), ideal systems (see e.g., Ezek. 40-48: see below, 14) and theories of the origin of institutions (these especially in P : see below, i7/.), (c) exhortations to obey the laws (very character istic of H and D : see 13-15).

1. Jewish Theory.[edit]

According to Hebrew or Jewish theory, Yahwe is the source of all law (LAW AND JUSTICE, i), Moses the medium trough whom it was revealed to Israel. Thus in connec tion with the various orders of law we find such formulas as And Yahwe said unto Moses, Thus shah thou say unto the children of Israel (Ex. 20:22, cp 20:21, and also 34:27, concluding laws of 34:14-26 [cp v. 10] J); and Yahwe spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel (Ex. 25:1, and so, or similarly, repeatedly in P) ; cp further Dt. 4:1-2, 5 33:4. At a later period the Jews formulated the theory that the oral law or tradition (subsequently written down in the Mishna and other halachic collections), as well as the written law or scrip ture, was in the first instance communicated to Moses Moses received the torah from Sinai, and he delivered it 2 to Joshua, and Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets, and the prophets to the men of the great synagogue (Pirke Abhoth, li).

From the Jewish point of view therefore Law Literature (both biblical and post-biblical) consists of laws originally communi cated to Moses orally, and committed, gradually, and at various periods, to writing; for even the oral law the irapaSotriy -riav rrpeo-fivTfpiav of the NT was subsequently written down. It is always the origin of law, however, rather than of the -writing down of the law that was of primary interest and importance to the Jews. Moses stands pre-eminent as the human medium through which the Law came to Israel ; though in the writing down of the Law Ezra s part is, according to Jewish tradition, at least as important as that of Moses (CANON, 17).

For present purposes it is unnecessary to discuss at further length the precise sense 3 in which the Jews traced their law and consequently, at least indirectly, their law-literature to Moses. We need only refer to (a) an exception and (b) a consequence.

(a) The prophets also were regarded as media of toroth i.e. , instructions, laws and the priests at various periods delivered instructions. 4 The pro phetic instructions, however, scarcely correspond to what we generally understand by law, and the priestly instructions are explanations of the law or laws of Yahwe with which the priests were entrusted (Hos. 4:6, Jer. 2:8, 18:18) in reference to specific circumstances (e.g., Hag. 2:11). 5

(b) The consequence of this theory of the origin of law is that the Hebrew historians never directly and ex plicitly record the introduction of a new law. We are thus deprived of what might otherwise furnish us with simple and straightforward evidence with regard to the date of the various bodies of law preserved in the OT. The nearest approach that we possess to such direct evidence of the change of law at a definite date is furnished by Ezekiel in his ideal sketch of a future Jesvish constitution (Ezek. 40-48) ; in this, old customs which had the sanction of earlier law are condemned and discarded, and new laws are enunciated, some of which subsequently gained validity. These changes are directly revealed by Yah we to the prophet. In D also, the date of which has l>een determined by criticism within sufficiently narrow limits, older laws are abrogated in favour of new ones ; but here the laws are traced to Moses, and are not, therefore, as in Ezekiel, directly represented as new, though indirectly the sense of novelty is here also clearly felt (cp below, 13).

1 Occasionally (Nu. 18:18, Lev. 10:8) Aaron is the medium. There is a tendency, especially among copyists, to associate Aaron with Moses in the reception of instructions.

- I.e., both written and oral law ; the verb receive (?2p) is specially used of the oral law.

3 The Rabbis differed on the point ; for their views see Taylor, Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, Excursus I., and in ( 2 ) addiu note i.

4 See BDB, s.v. rrin, i <~, d, e.

5 Much of the Book of the Covenant, Ex. 21-23, may be so regarded. The code may not in its original form have been attributed to Moses (cp Nowack, }[A 1 310) ; it rather appears to have been a collection of rules resting on long existing practice. See below, 7 f.

2. Written Laws.[edit]

Before proceeding to a synthetic history of Hebrew Law Literature based on the criticism of the several bodies of law, we may notice the external evidence - unfortunately for the earlier period very scanty - of the existence and diffusion of such a literature among the Hebrews. Law, but not necessarily the individual written laws or the entire literature of law, was, as we have seen, attributed to Moses. In the main the first four books of the Pentateuch merely relate oral communications which were to be orally communicated to the people. Ex. 34:27-28 (J), however, records that Moses wrote the short body of laws (vv. 11-26) which constituted the terms of the covenant between Yahwe and Israel ; a similar statement is found in 24:4, but the precise limits of the words of Yahwe there said to have been written down and the source of the statement (whether J or E) are uncertain. 1 Traditions were also current among the Hebrews that the decalogue was written by the finger of God on stone tables (Ex. 31:18, 32:16 E, Dt. 9:10). Again Hos. 8:12 implies the existence in the N. kingdom of written laws, which Ryle (Canon, 33), however, inclines to regard as prophetic teaching ; if the text be sound (which is doubtful), the number of these written laws must have been large. We have, thus, altogether, sufficiently good and complete evidence that written laws existed at least as early as the eighth or ninth centuries B.C. in both kingdoms. 2 The context of the passage in Hosea (cp Jer. 7:22-23) implies that these laws had regard rather to social and moral life than to cultus. 3 Such is the character of the major part of the laws in Ex. 21-23. On the other hand the laws of Ex. 34:11-26, said by J to have been written by Moses, are for the most part concerned with the cultus.

3. Why written?[edit]

For whom, then, we may ask, were these laws written? Who were to read them? In what sense were they literature? These questions cannot be answered with cer tainty ; but it seems likely that such collections of written laws were in the first instance intended for the priests whose duty it was to give decisions (cp LAW AND JUSTICE, 3, end). When (some of) the laws of Ex. 21-23 became incorporated (probably about the middle of the eighth century) in E, and those of Ex. 34:11-26 (somewhat earlier) in J (see Exodus, 3 vi.-ix. 4), they became the possession of a larger circle. To all appearance both these sets of laws codify existing practices, and do not introduce changes. There was no need, therefore, for their publicatiorx merely as laws. Their appearance in Hebrew literature is rather due to the growth of an historical literature (yet see Kue. Hex. 15, ET 272).

1 On the relation of these codes to the sources J and E, see EXMIIUS ii., 8 3 Vl -/-i 4-

2 See further Kue. Hex. ET 175 ff.

  • Cp 46 in the light of the context and see We. I rol.(*) pp.

S*S; 43-

4. Circulation.[edit]

The publication of Dt. {1} in the seventh century marks an important stage in the history of Law Literature. Dt. was the literary em bodiment of a religious reformation, the principles of which affected many established customs. Its publication therefore was necessary : it was essential that the people at large should know what was required of them by the new law. There are in the book passages which clearly imply that such publica tion was contemplated by its authors, and we learn from 2 K. 22-23. that they saw their designs carried out. Even so, however, we must not think of the book as having a large circulation among many classes of readers. Most of the people were to become acquainted with it by hear ing it read to them periodically by the priests and elders 2 (Dt. 31:9-13, cp 2 K. 23:2), just as according to the theory of the book it was in the first instance read to them by Moses (2:8, 5:8, 6:1; cp l:5, 3l:24, 29:20 30:10) ; the only copies of which we actually hear, in addition to the original which was to be kept in the temple (31:26), are the copy which was to be made for the king (17:18) and the copy engraved on stones, referred to in Dt. 27:2-3, 27:8 (on which see Driver, and, on the text and tradition PLAISTER).

It is reasonable, however, to suppose that other copies were in the hands of instructors of the people. It has been inferred from Jer. 11:1-8 that Jeremiah went about explaining Deuter onomy (see, e.g., Che. Jer. : his life and times, 55+). Still, the very limited circulation even of Dt. is a fact to be borne in mind when we consider the likelihood of the original code having been modified or expanded.

In the early years of the exile (592-570) Ezekiel wrote his sketch of the future constitution. The same period and the later years of exile were probably marked by much legal study and literary production. This, however, rests on indirect and internal evidence which is discussed elsewhere (see also below, 16-17). The same may be said of the early post -exilic period.

Certainly, from the time of Dt. onwards, references to written law become frequent. Life is no longer ordered merely or even mainly by long-established and recognised custom, and in cases of doubt by the oral decisions of priests, but according to what is written in the (book of the) law of Moses 3 (Ezra 3:2, 6:18, Neh. 13:1+, Josh. 8:31 D [cp 1:8 D] 23:6, 2 K. 14:6 D, 2 Ch. 23:18, 25:4, 35:12). Other references from this period to written law are Ezra 7:6, Neh. 8:1. Most significant also is the gradual omission of the words book of before the law when written law is implied. Torah, originally denoting a decision orally delivered, becomes a term for a body of written law (LAW AND JUSTICE, i).

Of course long after written law had become a well- recognised institution, many still depended for their knowledge of it on hearing it read to them (see Neh. 8, 13:1-3). The circulation of copies, however, must have become increasingly large ; this is in part indicated by the existence of the class of scribes. The number of people who possessed and read the law was certainly considerable in the second century B.C. (1 Macc. 1:56-57). Later the reading of the law was widely practised ; it formed the staple of EDUCATION (q. v . 3-4; cp Schiirer, GJfM, 11:354 , ET ii. 2:50).

It is true that the term 'law' was extended so as to cover all sacred literature (see CANON, 26) ; but this is only a further proof of the influence gained by the specifically legal literature. It is unnecessary to dwell on a fact so well recognised as that the Jews in the first century were (what they certainly were not, if we are to be guided by our records, down to the time of Josiah) the people of the law, the people of the book 1 (cp e.g. Jn. 5:39).

1 For the extent of the book as first published and the date of its origin, see DEUTERONOMV ( $ff.).

2 In Dt. 31 ii read iNipn with (of the priests and elders) instead of Nipn (MT) of Israel ; cp Di. and Dr. ad lac.

3 In this connection the absence of any referencein Hag. 2io-i2 to a written law (such as Nu. 19) on defilement by the dead, and the implication that oral instruction on the subject still needed to be obtained, is significant.

5. Six periods.[edit]

The history of Hebrew and Jewish Law Literature may be divided into six periods viz.

  • (1) the pre-Josianic (6-9);
  • (2) the Josianic (10-13);
  • (3) the exilic (14-16);
  • (4) the earlier post-exilic (17-19);
  • (5) the later post-exilic (20-21) ; and
  • (6) the Rabbinic (22-23).

From what has been said already ( 2-4), it will be easy to understand that a literature of Law in any very precise sense of the term begins only with the second (Josianic) of these periods ; in the first we have to do with the formulation and committal to writing of existing laws, but scarcely with the publication, for general perusal or recitation, of any legal work.

1. Pre-Josianic Period.[edit]

6. Before Josiah.[edit]

Written laws were, as we have seen (2), known in Israel at least as early as the eighth century B.C. Some of these laws have survived, editorially modified indeed yet not in such a way as to render their essential features unrecognisable, in the Pentateuch in particular in Ex. 20-24 34; see also Ex. 13:3-16. Others are probably incorporated without much greater editorial modifications in other masses of law, especi ally D and H ; but the consideration of these latter can be left to later sections. We will confine our attention for the present to the laws which are closely connected with the prophetic narratives of the Hexa- teuch, and (on this ground and on others) may be re garded with greatest probability as representing early Hebrew collections of written law.

There can be no question that both Ex. 34:16 (12)-26, and chaps. 20:1-23:19 stand at present surrounded by prophetic narratives ; but whether their present is the same as was their original position in the sources is very much open to question ; and this is particularly the case with Ex. 21:1-23:19 (cp Kue. Hex. 13, n. 32). If this be the case, can we be sure that the laws in question ever stood in the sources? In other words, can we safely argue merely from their position in the Hexateuch that the codes had been collected in written form as early as JorE?

Certainty does not seem to be justifiable, and Baentsch (Bundesbuch, 122)2 as a matter of fact is inclined to attribute the embodiment of Ex. 21:1-23:19 in the prophetic history-book to the compiler of JE to the complex prophetic source the com pilation of which must be placed at the close of the seventh century B.C. Yet two or three considerations render it probable that these laws occupied a place in one of the two main sources J or E.

  • (1) If the compiler of JE had not been led by the previous existence of the code in one of his sources to retain it in his compilation, would he not rather have adopted the Deuteronomic code or some laws more in accordance with that code ?
  • (2) The code, whether incorporated in the earlier sources or not, is certainly much earlier in origin than JE.

On the whole then, we may conclude that we approximate to the written laws of Yahwe to which Hosea makes reference in the decalogue of Ex. 20, the older decalogue of Ex. 34 and the code of Ex. 20:24-23. At the same time a comparison of Ex. 20 and Dt. 5 warns us that those older laws were sometimes subject to much editorial expansion (see DECALOGUE), and this must be borne in mind in attempting to gain a more definite idea of the law literature of the earliest period ; the presence of such expansions can for the most part merely be referred to here : details must be sought elsewhere. [The upward limit of date is determined by the one fact that the laws presuppose a settled agricultural society. See EXODUS ii.]

1 The Introduction of the law, first of Deuteronomy, then of the entire Pentateuch, was in fact the decisive step by which the written word (die Schrift) took the place of the spoken word (die Rede) and the people of the word became a people of the book (We. Prol.(*), 415). As the historical and prophetical books existed in part a long time before they became canonical, so, it is thought, was it the case also with the Jaw (das Gesetz). Nevertheless, in the case of the law, there is an essential difference. The law is meant to have binding force, is meant to be the book of the community. A dif ference between Law and Canon there never was. It is therefore easy to understand that the Torah, although as a literary product younger than the historical and the pro phetical books, is yet as law (Gesetz) older than those writings, which originally and essentially bore no legal character, but obtained the same accidentally in consequence of being attached to an already existing Law (it. 416).

2 See now (1900) also his Comm. on Ex. Lev. in H K ; he there admits (p. 188) that some laws stood at this point in E (cp 20i8-2i 243-8) to be found in 2022-26 2227-29 23 10-16, and that the judgments (see 7) stood elsewhere in E at a point not to be denned.

7. 'Words' and 'judgements'.[edit]

These remnants of pre-Josianic Hebrew law fall into different classes when regarded in respect of their form. We find

  • (1) absolute commands in Ex. 20:3-17 (the Decalogue), Ex. 34:10-26 (the so-called 'older decalogue'), and Ex. 20:23-26 {2} (21:15-17), 22:18-22, 22:28-31, 23:1-3, 23:6-19 ; deuteronomic expansions often accompany these ancient commandments in their present setting - see especially Ex. 20:4-6, 20:7b, 20:9-10, 20:12b, 20:17, 22:22-24, 22:27, 23:10, 23:12b ;
  • (2) hypothetical instructions based presumably on precedent - a codification of consuetudinary law - in Ex. 21:2-14, 21:18-36, 22:1-17, 22:25-26, 23:4-5.

Laws of the former (absolute) type seem to have gone by the name of 'Words' (c 13~l) , so at least the commandments of the Decalogue (Ex. 20) were termed (Dt. 5:22, 4:13, 10:4), as also those of the 'older Decalogue' (Ex. 34:27) ; and some have sup posed that the absolute commands of Ex. 21-23 are referred to by the same term in Ex. 24:3-4, 24:8. On the other hand the hypo thetical provisions of Ex. 21:2-24, etc., appear to have been specifically termed judgments (n pSE c) see Ex. 21:1 and per haps 24:3 ; and cp Nu. 35:24 (referring to vv. 16-23).

8. Their origin.[edit]

Ultimately, it need not be doubted, these two distinct types of laws had different origins. The main religious duties may at a comparatively early date have been thrown into a scheme of ten commands ; later, under the influence of the prophetic teaching, and perhaps as a set-off (cp the contrast between Mic. 6:6-7, and v. 8) to still earlier ritual decalogues, other schemes of ten words mainly inculcating moral duties may have been framed. An ancient ritual decalogue seems to underlie Ex. 34:12-26 (DECALOGUE, 5) ; individual commands of this kind appear elsewhere e.g. , in Ex. 23:18 ( =34:25). A moral decalogue, scarcely earlier in origin than the prophets of the eighth century, clearly survives in Ex. 20.

The judgments, on the other hand, will have originated in decisions given on particular cases by priest or other judicial authority (cp LAW AND JUSTICE, 4). These judgments, again, need not all have originated at the same time or place ; they may very well as they stand represent a selection from the established precedents at different sanctuaries ; and to this may be due the differences of form noticeable among them.

Whilst, however, such differences are certainly re markable, and seem best accounted for by difference of origin, we have not sufficient data to enable us to determine in more than a quite general way what those differences of origin whether of time or place actually were. In particular it seems a fruitless task to attempt to reach an actual earlier form of the Book of the Covenant by a series of transformations, such as Roth- stein (Bundesbuch, 1887) has proposed.

9. Literary history.[edit]

So again we must be content with alternative possibilities when we come to consider the later literary history of both the 'words' and the 'judgments'. The decalogue of Ex. 34 certainly seems to have formed part of the main prophetic source J (Exouus, 3, vii.); the Decalogue, generally so-called (Ex. 20), part of the prophetic source E, though whether in an earlier (E1) or a later (E2) form is disputed. The Book of the Covenant, again (Ex. 20:22-23:19), is also by most regarded as having formed part of E, though, as we have seen (6), Baentsch thinks that it was first incorporated by JE. However that may be, further alternatives arise. Had the Book of the Covenant an independent existence in writing before it came to form part of E or JE, or was it the compiler of one of those works who first brought together from different written or oral sources the words and the judgments ? These questions also must be left undecided. 3

One point further only needs to be emphasised here. Neither J nor E nor JE came, by the incorporation of these collections of law to be a law-book. The laws torm but a small part of the whole and are incorporated not with a view to gain recognition for them ; for they were based on long-established precedents, or (as in the case of the Decalogue of Ex. 20) they embodied some of the moral duties on which prophetic teaching naturally laid stress : they owe their place to a histori cal motive they are specimens of those customs, enjoy ing the sanction of Yahwe s favour, which were observed in Israel.

1 Yet note the conditional case in 34:20.

2 Yet note v. 25.

s For a fuller discussion of these and references to literature see EXODUS ii., -$f.

2. The Josianic Period.[edit]

10. Time of Josiah.[edit]

The second period brings us to the first specimen of Law Literature proper i.e., of works intended for publicity and having a legal as their leading motive.

The historical cause of this new departure was the religious reformation carried out under Josiah, and the leading doctrinal motive of the reformation was the unity of Yahwe ; the main reform aimed at in practice, the abolition- of local sanctuaries and the centralisation of worship at Jerusalem. This one main reform, however, involved many important changes, especially in the sacrificial customs, the status of the priests, the right of asylum (see SACRIFICE ; PRIEST, 6 ; ASYLUM, 3).

11. Deuteronomy an innovation.[edit]

In Deuteronomy we find the programme of this reformation (see DEUTERONOMY). Not to repeat a discussion of the exact limits of the original book of Deuteronomy which will be found elsewhere (DEUTERONOMY, 4+) it will suffice to notice here, that, regarded from a literary point of view, the book consists of three elements :

  • (a) previously existing laws, in some cases much, in others probably but little, if at all, modified (12) ;
  • (b) regulations for carrying into effect the contemplated reforms (13) ;
  • (c) exhortations, accompanied by threats and promises and illustrated by historical retrospects, to carry out the injunctions of the book (13).

The first element is common to Deuteronomy and the historical works of the preceding period which embody laws (6). The second and third elements entirely differentiate the new from the older literary form. The purpose of the earlier historical works was to record and glorify the existing order of things : the purpose of Deuteronomy was to condemn and displace that order. In the earlier period laws owed their position in literature to an historical interest ; hence forward history becomes an exponent of legal theory at first (especially in the Books of Kings in their final form) of the deuteronomic theory, and later (as in Chronicles) of the priestly theory (17).

We turn now to a fuller survey of the various elements, and of the history (so far as it can be discovered or surmised) of the fusion of them as seen in the existing book of Deuteronomy.

12. Laws not new.[edit]

(a) Previously existing laws. It has long been recognised that Deuteronomy is in large part based on the laws now found embodied in the 'prophetic' narratives of our Hexateuch. The extent of this common matter may be seen at a glance by consulting the comparative table in Driver's Deut. (iv.-vii.) ; see also DEUTERONOMY, 9 ; EXODUS ii., 4. The close relation between the two bodies of legislation, often extending to verbal coincidences, is thus summed up by Driver (8) : Nearly the whole ground covered by Ex. 20:22-23:33 is included in it [the deuteronomic legislation], almost the only exception being the special compensations to be paid for various injuries (Ex. 21:18-22:16), which would be less necessary in a manual intended for the people. In a few cases the law is repeated verbatim, or nearly so ; elsewhere only particular clauses ; in other cases the older law is expanded, fresh definitions being added, or its principle extended, or parenthetic comments attached, or the law is virtually recast in the deuteronomic phraseology. (Yet see DEUTERONOMY, 9.)

In addition to this legal matter found in the extant earlier codes, we have much similar matter not found there. It is reasonable to suppose that this also was derived, though by no means always without editorial modification, from sources similar to those noticed above (7) whether oral or written. Down to a period much later than that now under consideration the priests gave oral decisions, to which on many ritual points those in need of instruction were referred. From established and traditional decisions of this kind, as well as from written sources, the deuteronomic writers (like the compiler of H ; below, 15) may well have drawn. Particularly noticeable among this legal matter peculiar to Deuteronomy are the laws relative to unclean animals in chap. 14 (cp DEUTERONOMY, 10) and the laws of chaps. 21:10-25:16 (of which only seven out of a total of thirty-five are found in the legislation of JE ; DEUTERONOMY, 9) which in their greater terseness contrast with the generally diffuse style of even the distinctly legal parts of Dt. and are on this account with probability regarded as drawn more directly and with less modification from existing collections of laws. 1

The attempts to determine more precisely the exact literary character, if the sources were written, and the previous inter relations of this older matter not found in the legislation of JE have led to no convincing conclusions. Both Staerk and Steuernagel have attempted a resolution of the strictly legislative parts of D into sources, on the ground of the changing usage of the sing, and pi. for the persons addressed. Steuernagel (Deut. vi. ff.). also constitutes into sources various other groups of passages such as (16:21-17:1), 15:10-12a, 22:5, 23:19, 25:13-16a, on the ground of the common clause 'For any one who does such things is abominable to Yahwe' (nSj< nc j; S? najm 3)- Even, however, if we should grant that the criteria suffice to establish ultimate diversity of origin, they certainly do not establish any separate literary existence for such sources. Steuernagel him self expressly discards the idea that such sources need ever have obtained public currency (ib. xiii.). We can scarcely assert with safety more than this that these laws, so sharply distinguished in style from the more distinctively novel elements in Dt. (such for example as chaps. 12-13, 17:14+, 18:15+, 20:1-9), must have had previously some fixed form. The arguments adduced by Dillmann (NDJ 292-293, 340, 604-606 ; cp Kue. Hex. ET, 256; Graf, Gesch. Bticher, 25-27) to show that they must have been written really prove no more than such previous fixity of form whether oral or written.

But whatever conclusions we may draw in detail, there seems ample reason for the general conclusion that, with the single exception, to be noticed immediately, the legal material, even when it cannot be traced to still extant earlier codes, is not the novel element in Deuter onomy.

1 See more fully Graf, Gesch. Ditcher, t^f.

13. New element in Dt.[edit]

(b) and (c). This single exception, this new legal element in Deuteronomy, is the law of the centralisation of worship with its various corollaries. But the influence of this one new legal element is powerful, clearly felt, and far- reaching. Take, for example, the law of sacrifice (chap. 12). Much is assumed as known, for instance the mode of sacrifice ; but in respect to the place of sacrifice we find what was absent from the earlier legislation (cp 9 end) is here present a sense of change ; immemorial practice no longer supports itself by the mere fact of being such : no longer as at this day (128) is sacrifice to be offered wherever one pleases, but at one definite place only (12:13-14). Worship must be centralised ; the unity of Yahwe vin dicated and outwardly symbolised. What has been legitimate ceases to be so, while some things that had been illegitimate now become legitimate (12:15).

If the law-book, instead of merely glorifying the existing order of things, aimed at changing it and thus seriously affecting the life of the people, it needed a means of commending the changes to the people and arousing enthusiasm to carry them into effect. Hence the change is represented as long overdue ; it should have been made when Yahwe took up his abode in Jerusalem. Hence also the promises and threats with their appeal to the hopes and fears of the people ; the insistence on prophetic principles ; the didactic historical retrospects.

That the main elements just noted characterised the book found in the temple (2 K. 22:8) is plainly indicated by the narrative of 2 K. 22-23. The legal element is clear from the title the book of the torah by which it is there referred to, and from the correspondence of the actions of Josiah to the demands of the law ; the sense of change, the newness of the demands, is seen in the confession that immemorial customs did not conform to the demands of the law (2 K. 22:13) ; and the hortatory element must be presupposed to account for the alarm produced in the king on hearing the book read.

When this is said it still remains uncertain precisely how much of the present book constituted the book found in the temple. The critical study of Deuteronomy leads to the conclusion that the original book was amplified both in its legal and in its hortatory parts, and that the present work has resulted from the fusion of two different editions, so to speak, of the work dis tinguished from one another more particularly by different historical introductions (DEUTERONOMY, 4-7) : the limited circulation of books (above, 4) rendered such growth of a book easy.

These processes of expansion in large part are to be placed in the period between the Reformation (621 B.C.) and the fall of Jerusalem (586 B.C.) and represent the continuous literary activity of the reforming party.

Two characteristics of this great product of the Josianic period must be referred to before we pass to the next period.

  • (1) Deuteronomy is thoroughly practical ; it is the work of men living amid the actual circumstances of the life which they wish to reform. The authors appreciate the effect of the contemplated changes ; if their principle involved the centralisation of worship, they see the necessity and make provision for the de-sanctification of ordinary flesh meals ; if they rob the local priests of their custom at the local shrines, they give them their share in the custom of the temple at Jerusalem ; if they abolish with the local sanctuaries the numerous asyla offered by the altars there, they institute cities of refuge civil asyla.
  • (2) This practical character of the work defines its limitations. It is an appeal to the people : prophetic principles are enforced and illustrated in detail by the recital of moral and civil laws and of ritual law so far as it affected the people. On the other hand, the details of ritual, the functions of the priests, receive no attention ; these were sufficiently determined by the existing practice at Jerusalem.

1 Cp EZEKIEL ii., 13, 23-24.

3. The Exilic Period.[edit]

14. Ezekiel.[edit]

The literature of the exile bears the marks of the profound change in the external circumstances of the people. The national life has ceased ; it is now merely the subject of memory, the subject of hope. Hence the literary activity of the period shows itself mainly in the production of theoretical works, the framing of a constitution for the restored nation ; and in the preservation of the regulations of the life that has ceased to be.

The theoretical element is most markedly present in Ezekiel. In his sketch of the ideal constitution J of the new state he borrows, needless to say, largely from ancient practice ; as a priest, he was familiar with the duties of the priest and the priestly ritual, and he draws on this knowledge. As contrasted with the Isaianic it is a priestly conception of holiness that dominates him, leading him to give the central significance which he does to the holy city and especially to the temple (Ezek. 40-43:17). This accounts for the almost exclusively ritual and priestly character of the laws which the prophet incorporates in his sketch.

Note the ritual for the consecration of the altar (43:18-27), the regulations regarding the persons who may approach the sanctuary (44:6-15), the duties of the priests (44:16-27), the priestly dues (44:28-31), the materials and fixed seasons of sacrifices (45:13-46:15), the treatment of the sacrificial flesh (46:19-24). As compared with the actual monarchs of pre-exilic times, Ezekiel's prince is an insignificant person, and he comes before us mainly in connection with the sacrifices (46:12-17, 46:1-15) and the distribution of the land (45:7-8, 46:16-18). Beyond some general exhortations to the princes not to oppress (e.g., 45:8), almost the only references to other than priestly and ritual matters are in the short section commending just weights and measures (46:9-11).

Doubtless it was not Ezekiel s purpose to set forth a full constitution for the new state. It is equally clear, however, that his ideal differs from the real state which had passed away in the position given to the priests, and in particular the Jerusalem priests. As com pared with Deuteronomy, Ezekiel increases the priestly dues and by depriving the local priests priests who were not descended from Zadok of their priestly position, makes of the priests of his ideal constitution a compact and corporate body. In his priestly constitu tion Ezekiel, moreover, most clearly appears as an innovator. He is well aware that the priests of the future will not be as those of the past with which he had been familiar. In the past, which was the present of Dt. , all Levites had exercised priestly functions ; in the future all Levites not descended from Zadok, in other words all Levites who had not been connected with the Jerusalem temple, will be degraded into an inferior order : the Zadokites alone will remain genuine priests.

Ezekiel's remoteness from the actualities of life (contrast Deuteronomy) comes out particularly in his division of the country, which he regards as an exact parallelogram.

A particular value, historically and critically, attaches to the legal section of the book of Ezekiel. It shows us, on indisputable chronological evidence, how at least one mind in exile was working on Jewish law at a time when circumstances prevented its being put into force, and how the exile marks the transition from the literary activity, which had been mainly prophetic, to the literary activity of the post-exilic period, which became increas ingly priestly and legal.

Criticism has shown that Ezekiel's was not the only mind working in the way just described, and that not to him alone do we owe legal literature of the exilic age.

1 Cp, e.g., Lev. 19:15 with Ex 28:3, Lev. 22:27-29 with Ex. 22:20, 23:18-19, Lev. 25:1-7 with Ex. 28:10-11. See further We. Prol.(^), 384. It would be unreasonable, however, to limit the earlier legislation preserved in H to what is found in our extant earlier codes; see above, 12.

15. 'Law of Holiness'.[edit]

The most important of the remaining legal works the exilic origin of which has been generally admitted (yet see LEVITICUS, 28-29) is the Law of Holiness ( LEVITICUS, 13-30). Though in its present form incomplete and frequently modified by the editor who incorporated it with the larger post-exilic priestly work, it is not difficult to see the general character and motive of the work of the exilic compiler or editor. Like Deuteronomy it is based on earlier legislation, 1 is paraenetic in character (this feature being specially prominent in the closing section ; Lev. 26), and is characterised by its humanity (cp, e.g. , Lev. 19:3-4). Like Ezekiel (40-48) it has as its dominant note holiness, and appears to have had as its aim the regulation of the restored community.

H has in addition to these general characteristics so much in common with Ezekiel that Graf, as is well known, concluded that Ezekiel must have been the author of H (Gesch. Bucher, 31-33). As has frequently been pointed out, however (e.g., We. Prol*), 366: Dr. Introd.{W} , 148-149), whilst in some important respects H agrees with Ezekiel against D (e.g., the 10th of the seventh month is the feast of the New Year in H [Lev. 25:9a] and Ezek. 40:1, not as in P [Lev. 16:29] the Day of Atonement) in others H agrees with P against Ezekiel ; thus the priests are sons of Aaron, not of Zadok (as in Ezek. 44:15+, 48:11). See, further, LEVITES.

If we may trust the present arrangement, this law-book (H) began, like the legislation in JE (Ex. 20:22-23:16), with the regulation of sacrifice (Lev. 17) ; it assumes (Lev. 17:4, 26:11, 19:30, 20:3, 21:12-20, 26:2, 26:31) rather than demands (like Dt. ) that there must be but one place of sacrifice. Like Ezekiel, the Law of Holiness gives much attention to the priests and the ritual (chaps. 17, 20-24) ; but it regulates also with considerable fulness family and social life (esp. chaps. 18-20, 25). J

For proof of the date and extent of H, and for various views as to details, reference must be made to LEVITICUS, 13+, and the literature there cited, but see, especially, Baentsch, lleilig- kcitsgesetz. Baentsch s conclusions (on which cp Dr. fntrei/.( 6 ) p. 149 n.) may be summarised as follows : " Between the years 621 and 591, and probably within a year or two of the latter term, a writer (H) made a collection of previously existing laws, giving them a paranetic framework and the historical back ground of the wandering in the wilderness. This collection survives in Lev. 18, 20, 23:9-12, 23:15-17, 23:15-18a, 23:19b-20, 23:22, 24:15-22, 25:1-7, 25:14, 25:17, 25:18-22, 23 24 35-38 29 :1-2. Some years later later - also than Ezekiel - another writer (H2 )also made a collection of previously existing laws. These are mainly concerned with the priests and the offerings, and are provided by their editor with a dogmatic framework. This collection survives in Lev. 21-22. Quite at the close of the captivity an exile, anxious that the restored com munity should be regulated aright, united H1 and H2, prefixed chap. 17 (H3), and concluded the whole with a previously exist ing prophetic discourse (Lev. 26:3+), to which he made various additions (vv. 10, 17 [?], 34, 35, 39-43) appropriate to his immediate purpose." The details 2 of the foregoing theory and the analysis underlying it have varying degrees of probability ; but the com- plexitv of the code seems certain (if only on the ground of the presence of both chap. 18 and chap. 20), and that more than one exilic process is here represented is highly probable.

16. Other collections.[edit]

Possibly we should refer to the exile also the writing down and collection of much of the priestly teaching that lies at the basis of a large part of Leviticus and is indicated in Carpenter and Battersby's Hexateuch as PT . For arguments as to the date of this PT, see ih. I. pp. 152-153, and Harford-Battersby in arts. 'Leviticus' and 'Numbers' in Hastings DB.

We find then that in the exile legal study and especi ally the study of the temple ritual and priestly duties was zealously pursued though (or perhaps we should rather say, because), the temple being destroyed, both ritual and priestly duties were for the time being in suspense : just as after the second destruction of the temple and the permanent cessation of sacrifice in 70 A. D. the rabbinic study of matters connected with the temple continued with great if not increased ardour (see 23).

4. Early Post-Exilic Period.[edit]

The activity of this period resulted in (a) the legal and quasi-historical work known as the Priestly Code (P), and (b) the fusion with that work of older histories (JE) and of the law-book (D), producing a work substantially the same as our Pentateuch (on b see 20-21).

17. P : its character.[edit]

Towards the end of the sixth or at the beginning of the fifth century B.C., probably in Babylon, 3 a great work, historical in form, legal or institutional in motive, saw the light. 4 Its evident purpose is the vindi cation of the divine origin of Jewish institutions and ritual law. Terse to a degree in its treatment of history generally, reducing the biographies of the heroes of the past to little more than a genealogy and a table of ages, it expands into fulness where the origin or purpose of an institution can be illustrated, as for example in the history of creation leading up to the Sabbath, that of the Deluge closing with the command not to eat blood, the birth of Isaac and the institution of circumcision. What is chiefly dwelt on in connection with the Exodus is the institution of the Passover ; the history of the transition from Egypt to Canaan deals fully only with the establishment of the central place of worship the tabernacle and of the sacred classes (the priests and "Levites) to whose care and service it was confided. Ezekiel in the exile with prophetic freedom legislates afresh ; and, with a full sense of the novelty of some features in the constitution which he draws up, presents it under the form of the ideal state of the future. The author of the great priestly history casts his ideal back into the past ; what ought to be, was ; what ought to be done now, was done by the true Jew of the past ; earlier histories represented the patriarchs sacrificing in various spots ; to P sacrifice apart from the tabernacle was profanity ; hence in his history the patriarchs never sacrifice. P s tabernacle itself is anterior to the temple only in the imagination not in history. The entire work is legal or ritual fact and theory presented under the form of history.

1 Exclusive of those parts of the chapters in question which are from the hand of later priestly writers. See LEVITICUS, |X4/

2 For a criticism of one or two of these see a review by the present writer in JQR 6(1893), pp. 179-182, whence the above summary is cited.

3 Cp E7ra76^7;, and Kue. Hex. 15, n. 27.

  • This can most conveniently be read in Addis s Documents

of the Hexateuch, vol. ii. See also Carpenter and Harford- Battersby. On the origin of P see HEXATEU;H, g 13-30; on its relation to Hebrew historical literature, see HISTORICAL

18. P's two elements.[edit]

Now, what is the literary inter-relation between the various parts of the work ? P consists of two main elements ; the history of Jewish institutions already described, and masses of laws mainly concerned with ritual matters. Were these two elements combined from the first? If not, when was the combination made? Are even the two main elements quite simple or to be resolved into yet further elements? Complete and conclusive answers to these questions are not obtainable. Certain points, however, are clear, and the complexity of P is certain.

(a) The masses of laws in P are in part earlier (for an example see 15 the Law of Holiness), in part later (see below, 21) than the priestly history. In large part, however, it is difficult to decide with certainty whether the laws had or had not a separate literary, as distinct from a fixed oral, existence before they were united with this history.

Two things, however, must be observed :

  • (1) For the most part the masses of law have no organic connection with the priestly history. This is true, for example, of the great mass contained in Lev. 1-7 (LEVITICUS, 7), and again such laws as those of the Nazirite (Nu. 6), of the ordeal of Jealousy (Nu. 6:11-31), and those contained in Nu. 15:10.
  • (2) The laws are not homogeneous. Taking again as an example Lev. 1-7, we find the same subjects treated more than once and in a different manner ; thus 6:8-7:38 covers the same ground as chaps. 1-5 viz. the ritual of the various forms of offerings and the subscription in 7:35-36 refers only to 6:8-7:34; instances of actually divergent laws on the same subject within the priestly code will be referred to in s. 21.

(b) The several laws are worked inorganically into the historical framework though often in the vaguest manner.

The laws are delivered to Moses or to Moses and Aaron (cp 1). Sometimes the place of delivery (e.g., Lev. 1:1, 7:38) or time (ib.) is defined. At times (e.g., Lev. 8) a law is cast entirely in the form of a history of its first appearance ; and generally what Aaron is bidden to do may be taken as a standing law actual or ideal for the priests of the writer's own day. Very frequently, however, the law is quite general in its terms and is only loosely connected with the history by the introductory formulie (see, e.g., Lev. 1-7, 23 - exclusive of the parts belonging to H).

(c) Whether or not the history and the various bodies of law in P had a separate literary career of their own before they became united, history and laws belong to the same general period. The force of critical tradition in favour of the early date of the priestly history led Graf, it is true, in the first instance to place the laws, the date of the origin of which was too obvious to be ignored, remote in time from the history. The impossibility of this, however, was quickly seen, not only by Grafs critics, but also by himself. The funda mental characteristics of the laws which point to the period in which they originated are in the history merely a little less explicit. They are there. Laws and history alike presuppose, for example, the single place of sacrifice, the distinction between priests and Levites. In subsidiary matters too, the tie is equally close ; both alike, for example, use a number to define the month, and both are generally marked by the same striking linguistic peculiarities.

The production then of this complex work was one of the chief results of literary activity in the earlier post- exilic period. We may consider the possibilities and probabilities with regard to the stages in its growth in connection with the other achievement of the period the union of this complex whole or of its various parts with JED.

1 See further Driver, Introdfo, pp. t,i,f.

19. The Torah of Neh. 8-10.[edit]

Here we must consider the external evidence. Un fortunately that evidence is ambiguous ; and scholars are much divided in their interpretation of it. The evidence consists of the account of the acceptance of the law of God which was given by Moses the servant of God (Neh. 10:29) contained in Neh. 8-10 chapters derived from the memoirs of Ezra but worked over to some degree by the excerptor (see EZRA ii. , 5). Now the law to which the people bound themselves on the 24th day of the 7th month of the year 444 was, at least pre-eminently, the law of P.

It is quite clearly P's law of the feast of booths that is found written in the law (Neh. 8:14-15), for the festival lasts eight days (Neh. 8:15) in accordance with Lev. 23:36 (cp 2 Ch. 7:9-10), not seven as commanded in Dt. 10:13 (cp 1 K. 8:66, Ezek. 45:25, Lev. 23:41, H). Then compare further in detail the ordinances de scribed in Neh. 10:32-39 with the relevant laws in P for detailed references see the commentators : note especially the agree ment, as to the dues demanded, of Neh. 10:36-40 with Nu. 18; on the relation of 10:32 to Ex. 30:13-14 cp below, 21 (a).

Was, then, the law of God, read by Ezra and inter preted by the priests and Levites to the people, simply the historico-legal work contained in P, or was it this work already combined with JED and therefore sub stantially the Pentateuch in its present form ? The former alternative certainly seems more probable on the face of it. Would a self-contradictory work like the Pentateuch in its present form have produced the desired effect ?

The view that Ezra s law consisted of P alone has been held and defended, inter alias, by Kayser (Das vorexilische Buck, pp. 195 f.), Reuss (Gesch. d. heiligen Schriften des A Tft), yij jf-h Kuenen (Hex. 303), Holzinger (Einl. 438/1). In addition to the argument already suggested, it is urged that the time allowed in Neh. 8 for reading and interpreting would not have permitted of Lev. 23 being reached by the second day if the whole Pentateuch, not simply P, was the book read. The opposite view that Ezra read P combined with JED is adopted, almost of necessity, by adherents of the older critical school (e.g., Di. NJD 672 f.\ Kit. 93./C), but also by others (e.g., We. Prol.(*), 415). Among the grounds adduced for this view is the fact that marriage with aliens (Neh. 10:30 [31]) is expressly forbidden not in P but only in other parts of the Pentateuch (Ex. 34:12 Dt. 7:2+).

5. Later Post-Exilic (post-Ezran} Period.[edit]

20. Later history of P.[edit]

On the answer to the questions raised at the end of the last section must largely turn our view of post-Ezran literary activity. Most of what will be here discussed must be thrown back before the period of Ezra, if the view that the law read by him was (substantially) the whole Pentateuch be adopted ; and some of the processes may in any case have fallen rather in the previous period ; a further preliminary remark needing to be made is this, that any strict chronological sequence of the processes now to be mentioned cannot be established. Various hypotheses may be made which nothing yet known serves either to invalidate or confirm. With these precautions we proceed to enumerate various editorial and supplementary labours to which criticism has drawn attention. In some cases it is tolerably certain that those who undertook them were successors of Ezra.

(a) The union of P with JED. This must have occurred, if not before (see preceding section), within a generation or two after, Ezra ; otherwise it would be difficult to account for the practical identity of the Jewish and Samaritan Pentateuchs (see CANON, 24/.). The result of the union was important ; the pre-eminently historico-prophetic character of JED becomes in the whole complex work entirely subordinate to the legal and priestly character of the later work with which it is incorporated which now gives its dominant note to the whole.

The earlier fortunes of JE fall for consideration almost entirely under historical literature ; later they are lost in those of the great legal work which henceforward is the normative influence alike over literature (cp CHRONICLES) and over life.

(b) Removal of Joshua. The process just mentioned was doubtless associated with another. The history of P extended to the conquest of Canaan (cp JOSHUA ii., 5, 12). This last part of the work, dealing with events subsequent to the death of Moses, no longer forms part of the law. Whether this truncation of P took place at the actual time of the union with JED or subsequently may be left undecided ; but the date of the process, like that of the union of P and JED, hangs on the date of the Samaritan Pentateuch, which does not contain the book of Joshua.

21. Additions to P.[edit]

(c) Expansions of P (or of JEDP). The complexity of P has been briefly discussed already ( 18). We must here draw more special attention to sections, related in style and spirit to P, which do not appear to have formed part of it originally and certainly may be of post-Ezran origin. The determination of the secondary or primary character of many particular sections of priestly character must often remain inconclusive, for it frequently turns on general considerations which will weigh differently with different minds. 1 If it is unlikely that the law Ezra read was encumbered with the irrelevant histories of JE and the irreconcilable laws of the earlier legislation and Dt. , it is scarcely less unlikely that it contained the self-contradictory laws to be found within P or the different representations of the tabernacle and its appurtenances that underlie Ex. 25-31 as well as many of the laws. On the other hand some laws not immediately and conspicuously connected with the history (e.g. , those of Lev. 23) must already have been united with the priestly history ( 18 f). Still, the account in Neh. 8-10 fails to carry us far in actually determining the extent of legal matter contained in Ezra's law-book. As illustrations of the type of expan sions to which P was subject the following may be cited.

(a) Laws representing and enforcing actual modifica tions of praxis. In one or two cases it is tolerably certain that these are not only secondary but also post-Ezran.

For example, the temple tax in the time of Ezra was one- third of a shekel (Neh. 10:32), and, apparently, a novelty; the law of Ex. 30:11-16 (cp 2 Ch. 24:6-10) demands half a shekel ; this latter amount was actually paid in later times (Mt. 17:24; cp Schiir. GJl ~$), 2:206). The most natural conclusion is that the law of Ex. 30:11-16 is an expansion of P (which is further indicated by its presupposing Nu. 1) subsequent to the time of Ezra. Again, the tithe on cattle payable to the Levites according to Lev. 27:30-33 and referred to in 2 Ch. 31:6 seems to be as little recognised in Nu. 18:21, Neh. 10:36-38 [35-37] as in Dt. 14:22-29, 26:12-15. Once again, the law in Lev. 27:30-33 seems to belong to the post-Ezran period ; but in this case it must be placed earlier than the date of Chronicles. Many other similar cases of modifi cations within P give less clue to the date of their incorporation in the priestly work or the Pentateuch.

(b) Another type of expansions is perhaps to be found in laws embodying practice sufficiently ancient and even primitive, but sanctioned only as a concession to popular feeling by the scribal class.

For example, the ordeal of JEALOUSY (Nu. 5:11-31) and the cleansing by the ashes of the red heifer (Nu. 19) are certainly in some respects primitive. In their present form they betray the general stylistic characteristics of the priestly school ; but they stand isolated and unrelated (so far as can be seen) to the_ main scheme of the priestly work. Cheyne accounts in a similar manner for the ritual of the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16) ; see AZAZEL, 4 ; Jewish Rel. Lift, 75 f.

(c) A third type of expansions consists of additions to the more historical or quasi -historical material. Most notable is the repetition (Ex. 35-40) in the form of a detailed account of carrying these into effect of the directions to build the tabernacle.

Here the relation of MT and renders it probable that we have to do with tolerably late expansions. Whether or not many other sections (e.g., Nu. 7) are primary or secondary depends largely on the assurance with which we are prepared to judge the possibilities of the original writer s piolixity. For details see EXODUS, 5, LEVITICUS, iff., NUMBERS, Ii7.f

(d) Another set of expansions of the primary work is indicated by references to the altar of incense or the golden altar. This is unknown to Ex. 25-29, and first appears in the supplemental section Ex. 30:1-10. The original priestly narrative knows only a single altar, termed simply the altar, and distinguished by the later writers from the altar of incense as the altar of burnt-offering. Cp further Wellhausen, C7/< 2 >, 139^

Such are some of the leading instances of the expan sion of the law after it had become fixed as to its main form. By degrees the reverence for the letter, which a few centuries later we know to have been intense, must have rendered it difficult to incorporate new matter, and especially new matter differing essentially from the written law. Glosses may have been made even later ; such is the conclusion suggested by a comparison of MT with the versions, especially

1 For a discussion of many details see EXODUS, 5, LEVITICUS, -, NUMBERS, \off. 21.

6. Rabbinic Period.[edit]

22. Post-biblical period.[edit]

As there had been laws before there was any legal literature (7), so there was much legal activity after the legal literature collected in the Old Testament was complete. To some extent this later activity found a literary outlet in some of the Apocalyptic Literature (APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE, 2, 58). To a much larger extent it spent itself in the production of an oral tradition which had grown to great proportions by the first century A. D. But whereas the oral tradition that apparently lies behind the earliest collections of written law in the OT was a record based on actual practice and precedent, the later oral tradition (in its turn the source and indeed the contents of another great literature the Rabbinic) was largely casuistical ; it concerned cases that might arise at least as much as cases that had arisen. The law of God was no longer established custom ; its principles were contained in the written law and were capable of being applied to the minutest circumstances of life. It is with this minute application, with this working out of the older law, that the traditions of the fathers which constitute the Mishna are concerned.

1 In addition to the discussions of the Amoraim or post-Mishnic doctors which constitute the main body of the Gemara and are written in Aramaic, the Gemara contains also sayings of older doctors not contained in the Mishna, but written like the Mishna in Hebrew. These are named Baiaitnu

23. Mishna, Talmud, etc.[edit]

As the first fall of Jerusalem (586 B.C.) gave a stimulus to the fixing of much of previously existing law and to the consideration of the law of the future (14-16), so the second fall of Jerusalem (70 A.D. ), and the final dispersion of the Jews from their religious centre, added zest to the pursuit of the law and to the systematisation of the legal discussions of the Rabbis. It is the discussions of the Rabbis who lived between 70 A.D. and about 200 A. D. that chiefly constitute the Mishna. Earlier Rabbis are mentioned comparatively speaking with extreme rarity. But when was this traditional discussion written down ? It is generally assumed that it was about 200 A.D. Still, it is not certain, either that none of it had been written earlier, or that all of it was written then ; by that date it had in any case assumed a fixed shape or arrangement whether as oral tradition or in writing ; and thenceforward it became the subject of further discussion both in the Palestinian and the Babylonian schools. This discussion is known as the Gemlra. 1 Mishna and Gemara together constitute the Talmud or rather the Talmuds. The result of the Palestinian discussions on the Mishna was the Palestinian or Jerusalem Talmud, completed towards the end of the fourth century or during the fifth century A.D. ; the result of similar dis cussions in Babylon was the Babylonian Talmud com pleted about 500 A. D.

The Talmud is the chief literary product of late Jewish legal discussion ; but it is by no means our only one. For example, under the title of Tosephta we still possess a collection of discussions of the Mishnic age which resembles the Mishna in being arranged accord ing to topics, but never gained the same authoritative position. Another branch of this literature consists of commentaries (Midrashim) on the sacred text. Here of course the arrangement is not according to subject ; from the nature of the case it follows the arrange ment of the biblical text. The earliest works of this kind, belonging in their original form to the second century A. D. and thus closely related in time as well as in contents with the Mishna, are Mechilta (on part of Exodus), Siphra (on Leviticus), and Siphre (on Numbers and Deut. ).

Any discussion of the Talmud and the Mishnic literature falls outside the limits of this article and must be sought for elsewhere. * It has been necessary, however, to refer to it. The movement begun by Deuteronomy does not close within the period of the OT ; its goal is the Talmud ; its course covers more than a thousand years. Deuteronomy does much to crystallise principles into rules and thereby partly strangles the free prophetic life, to which it so largely owed its existence. Still the principles survive in it : the appeal to motive is constant. The subsequent history of law - literature, however, is the history of the increasing supremacy of rules based on the past over the living spirit of the present. Ezekiel indeed questions and displaces deuteronomic laws ; the Priestly Code amends Ezekiel ; but thenceforward law always professedly adheres to the norm of scripture, the written word ; the Mishna is the interpretation of the written law : the Gemara the interpretation of the Mishna. G. B. G.


(NOMIKOC), Mt. 22 3 s, etc.. Tit. 813. See LAW AND JUSTICE, and cp SCRIBES.

Lawyer is also given in RVnig. as a rendering of the obscure word N nsri in L>an. 3 2. See SHERIFF.


(rPK>pnri 7V3), 2 K. 15:5 RV m e-, EV several house. See LEPROSY, col. 2767, n. i.