Page:Laws of Hammurabi, King of Babylonia.djvu/10

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RECORDS OF THE PAST

To the biblical student the Code of Hammurabi suggests at once a comparison with the Laws of Moses, which were written about 700 years later. But a comparative study of the two codes can only be made by one conversant with the conditions under which Moses promulgated his laws for the government of the Hebrew state and church. It has already been charged that Moses copied from the older code. It must be remembered that in every age and condition of society the great fundamental principles of justice have been and must remain the same. Therefore when we find these principles of justice existing in both the laws of Hammurabi and Moses, we recognize in them the eternal precepts of right and wrong in human society. Granting this, a further comparison between the two codes reveals in the latter, a higher and what is and may be claimed to be, a divine ordering for the higher and spiritual condition of man. That Moses was familiar with the Laws of Hammurabi and doubtless had studied them cannot be doubted by anyone conversant with the literary and commercial intercourse existing between Egypt and Babylonia. The comparison of the two codes will form the subject of a future article in Records of the Past.


HAMMURABI'S INTRODUCTION TO HIS CODE OF LAWS


When Anu the sublime, the King of the Annunaki and Bêl, the lord of heaven and earth, who fixed the destiny of the country, had committed the whole of mankind to Marduk, the son of Ea, the god of right, when they made him great among the Egigi, had pronounced the sublime name of Babylon, made it great upon earth, had established in it an eternal kingdom, the foundations of which are laid firm like heaven and earth, at that time Anu and Bêl called me, Hammurabi, the great prince, who fears God, to give justice a status in the country, to destroy the wicked and bad, that the strong should not overcome the weak, that I might rise over the block-headed ones; like Shamash, to illuminate the land and to further the welfare of humanity, Hammurabi, the prince, the one called by Bêl, am I. To obtain riches and superabundance, bringing about everything possible for Nippur and Durilu, the exalted protection of Ekur; who had restored Eridu, purified the cult of E-apsu, who fought against the four regions of the world, made the great name of Babel, brightened the heart of Marduk, his master; who (Hammurabi) does service in Esagila, the royal branch which Sin founded, who made rich Ur, the humble and subservient one, who brings riches to Gish-shir-gal, the wise King, heard by Shamash, the mighty one, who laid the foundations of Sippar, who clothed in green the tombs of Malkat, who enlarged E-babbar, which is like heaven; the warrior who protected Larsa, and renewed E-babbar for Shamash, his helper, the lord who gave new life to Uruk, who supplied plenty of water to its inhabitants, who raised the head of E-Anna, completed the splendor of Anu and Nanna, the protector of the country, who united the scattered inhabitants of Isin, who richly supplied E-gal-mach, the protecting city king, brother of the god Zamamma, who firmly founded the settlement of Kish, surrounded with splendor. E-me-te-ur-sag doubled the great sanctuaries Nana; manager of the temple of Harsag-kalama, the grave of the enemies, whose help gains the victory; who enlarged the city of Cutha; who made splendid everything in E-shid-lam; the black steer who strikes down the enemies, the favorite of the god Tu-tu; who caused joy to the population of Borsippa; the sublime one, who is tireless for Ezida, the