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The Compositional Logic of the Goring Ox and Negligence Laws in the Covenant Collection (Ex 21:28-36)

Pages 93 - 142


Waltham, Massachusetts

1 D. P. Wright, The Laws of Hammurabi as a Source for the Covenant Collection (Exodus 20:12-23:19), Maarav 10, 2003, 11–87. Special abbreviations used herein include: AL1 = apodictic laws at the beginning of CC (Ex 20:23-21:1); AL2 = apodictic laws at the end of CC (Ex 22:17-23:19); CC = Covenant Collection/Code; CCL = central casuistic laws (in Ex 21:2-22:16 and/or LH 1-282); HittL = Hittite Laws; LE = Laws from Eshnunna; LH = Laws of Hammurabi; LHe = epilogue of LH; LHp = prologue of LH; LU = Laws of Urnamma; MAL = Middle Assyrian Laws; NA = Neo-Assyrian; NBL = Neo-Babylonian Laws; OB = Old Babylonian.

2 In Wright, Laws (s.a. n. 1), 13 n. 5, I refer to a number of scholars who have recognized part of this evidence. To be added is G. C. Chirichigno, Debt-Slavery in Israel and the Ancient Near East, JSOTSupp 141, Sheffield, 1993, 191-195. He has recognized more of the ordered similarities than any other scholar prior to my work. He extends the observations made by V. Wagner, Zur Systematik in dem Codex Ex 21 2-22 16, ZAW 81, 1969, 176–182, to note correspondences 1, 3, 4 (though he does not note 21:17 and LH 192-193), 5,7, 8, and 9, as enumerated in the appendix of the present article (and discussed in Wright, Laws). He also notes, as I did, that Ex 21:2-11 contains laws related to marriage and family, the concern of LH 127-194 (p. 193 in connection with 192; see Wright, Laws, 15-18). He also compares all of the deposit and hire laws in Ex 22:5-15, though as a block, with LH 228-227 (this covers correspondences 12-14 of my study and appendix; he also notes the connection of LH 120-126 with this CC passage, as I did). While he thus provides independent confirmation of the observable similarities between the collections, he is, however, reserved and vague about formulating a hypothesis to explain them. He speculates unsystematically about a Schultradition (following Wagner, 178), Amorite hypotheses, and similarly but independently promulgated royal edicts (see pp. 192, 194 [and n. 4 there], 195 [and n. 2 there]).

3 I would articulate the evidence about the influence of LHp and LHe somewhat differently now (for the details regarding the features noted here, see Wright, Laws [s.a. n. 1]). The primary and crucial observation is that the sequential correspondences of the CCL (labeled 1-14 in the appendix) continue on with AL2/LHe (labeled 15). Both collections, basically at the same point, shift genres, CC to apodictic laws and LH to royal praise. Despite the difference in genres, both AL2 and LHe share thematic and even stylistic similarities: LHe has some apodictic formulations, despite the overall genre of royal praise, similar to AL2, and both AL2 and LHe emphasize ethical and judicial matters and feature dynamic deities. Notably, apodictic style and these themes are not part of the CCL and are found only here in the two works (excluding, of course, AL1 and LHp, which are structural counterparts to AL2 and LHe; see below) (Less important as evidence, but still relevant, is the appearance of the theme of visiting a cultic place in AL2 and LHe.) On more detailed inspection, I have realized that these thematic and stylistic correlations occur mainly with the first half of LHe (the last half contains curses, which are not significantly reflected in AL2). The picture that emerges is this: the main attention of CC's author was on the last half or third of LH's laws (from LH 117 and especially from LH 192 on) through the first half of the epilogue of LH. Dependence upon other portions of LH (including LHp) is more incidental and supplementary. LHp may have influenced AL1 in the theme of cultic performance (as I argued earlier), but I now suspect that LHe may have significantly influenced the content of ALL The focus on the altar (Ex 20:24-26) and the prohibition against cultic images (20:23) may be specific reactions to the statue of Hammurabi and the stele of his laws, which are treated in the first half of LHe. Instead of having a statue of the king in the temple which allows his name to be remembered (ina Esagil sa arammû šumī ina damiqtim ana dār lizzakir “in the Esagil that I love may my [Hammurabi's] name be always remembered for good”; 47:93-48:2), statues are not to be associated with Yahweh, and he comes to the people and blesses them “in every [cult] place that I cause my name to be remembered/recalled” (בכל המקום אשר אזכיר את שמי, Ex 20:24; note the similarity in the phrasing with the passage from LHe: the exalted being's name is remembered/recalled, using the root zkr, in a cult place). This shift from statue and stele to altar is accompanied by a shift from human king (LH) to divine king (CC) (Wright, Laws [s.a. n. 1], 40-41, 51; B. M. Levinson, Is the Covenant Code an Exilic Composition? A Response to John Van Seters, in In Search of Pre-exilic Israel, J. Day, ed., London, 2004, 272-325 [I thank Prof. Levinson for sharing his manuscript]; B. M. Levinson, You Must Not Add Anything to What I Command You: Paradoxes of Canon and Authorship in Ancient Israel, Numen 50, 2003, [1–51] 12–14). This is partly why a human king does not appear at all in CC (except guardedly at Ex 22:27; see F. Crüsemann, The Torah, Minneapolis, 1996, 111). The place where LHp may have been primarily influential is the transitional introduction to the CCL (see Wright, Laws [s.a. n. 1], 45-46), though the term משפטים, “laws” is closer to the specific term dīnāt mišarim “judgments of justice” in the first line of LHe (47:1) than to the general term mlšarim “justice” in the transitional introduction at the end of LHp (on the Akkadian terminology, see F. Kraus, Ein zentrales Problem des altmesopotamischen Rechtes: Was ist der Codex Hammu-rabi? Genava 9, 1960, 284-286). LHp otherwise may have had only a general influence in suggesting to the author that casuistic laws should be prefaced by material of another genre; hence AL1 is formulated as apodictic law parallel to AL2. I would hypothesize that the apodictic formulation in AL1 and AL2 may represent the author's customary mode for formulating law and that casuistic formulation is determined mainly by dependence upon cuneiform sources. 4 R. Rothenbusch, Die kasuistische Rechtssammlung im “Bundesbuch” (Ex 21,2-11.18-22,1), AOATS 259, Münster, 2000, has offered the most recent and detailed explanation via oral tradition. He traces similarities in the laws back to Mesopotamian influences on the west in the Middle Bronze and Late Bronze (LB) periods. This tradition was maintained in the Phoenician sphere and transferred to Israel/Judah in the monarchic period when CC was finally composed. The goring ox laws in particular have thus only an indirect tradition-historical connection to cuneiform law (p. 334). E. Otto offers a different theory according to which the content of the laws arose in the local courts of the rural countryside and their redaction took place in the towns which were places of higher education where there may have been a knowledge of cuneiform texts via Canaanite tradition (Town and Rural Countryside in Ancient Israelite Law: Reception and Redaction in Cuneiform and Israelite Law, JSOT 57, 1993, [3–22] 5-7, 20-21). Shorter collections (e.g., 21:12-17; 21:18-32; 21:33-22:14; 23:1-8), which are the product of redaction, were redacted into two larger collections (20: 24-26+21:2-22:26 and 22:28-23:12), which were then combined (E. Otto, Wandel der Rechtsbegründungen in der Gesellschaftsgeschichte des antiken Israel, Studia Biblica 3, Leiden, 1988, 9–56; Aspects of Legal Reforms and Reformulation in Ancient Cuneiform and Israelite Law, in Theory and Method in Biblical and Cuneiform Law: Revision, Interpolation and Development, B. M. Levinson, ed, JSOTSupp 181, Sheffield, 1994, [160–196] 182-189). There are inherent contradictions in these theories, mainly in separating the development of content from redactional content and form and attributing these to different influences; see Levinson, Covenant Code (s.a. n. 3), 290–291.

5 See Wright, Laws (s.a. n. 1), 47–51.

6 Some recent studies have argued that direct dependence is likely (M. Malul, The Comparative Method in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical Legal Studies, AOAT 227, Kevelaer & Neukirchen-Vluyn, 1990, passim and especially his summary statement on p. 159; Van Seters, Law Book [s.a. n. 4]). Most recently Bernard Levinson (Covenant Code [s.a. n. 3, 288-297]) has accepted my argument for a connection between the CCL of the two collections in the NA period (he is hesitant about connecting the AL1 and AL2 with LHp and LHe). Earlier, J. J. Finkelstein, The Ox That Gored, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 70/2, Philadelphia, 1981,19-20, 21, 33, 34, saw a close relation between CC and LH but could not definitively define a literary connection. For L. Schwienhorst-Schönberger's inclination toward affirming some sort of connection in the goring ox laws, see n. 22, below. See also Wright, Laws (s.a. n. 1), 12-13 nn. 3–5.

7 Levinson, Covenant Code (s.a. n. 3), 292-293, updates my list of copies of LH in the various periods (Wright, Laws [s.a. n. 1], 52-53, 67-71). His added evidence indicates clearly that, as he says, “after the period of its composition (Old Babylonian), the greatest evidence of interest in the Laws of Hammurabi is in the Neo-Assyrian period.”

8 See Wright, Laws (s.a. n. 1), 58-67. Levinson, Covenant Code (s.a. n. 3), 293-296, adds significantly to the circumstantial evidence. For a perspective on cuneiform literacy in this period, see S. Parpola, The Man Without a Scribe and the Question of Literacy in the Assyrian Empire, in Ana šadî Labnāni lu allik: Beiträge zu altorientalischen und mittelmeerischen Kulturen: Festschrift für Wolfgang Röllig, B. Pongratz-Leisten, H. Kühne, P. Xella, eds, AOAT 247, Kevelaer & Neukirchen-Vluyn, 1997, 315–324 (I thank D. Dance for this reference).

9 I do not accept Van Seters' conclusion (Law Book [s.a. n. 4]) that CC is later and dependent upon Deuteronomy's laws and that the similarities to cuneiform law are due to cultural contact during the Babylonian exile. See my review of his book to appear in JAOS 124/3, 2004; Levinson, Covenant Code (s.a. n. 3); E. Otto, Review of Van Seters' Law Book, RBL 7, 2004 ( For the dating of CC at the end of the eighth or the beginning of the seventh centuries BCE, see Crüsemann, Torah (s.a. n. 3), 165–166, 197.

10 The term mār awīlim in LH 251 means merely “a member of the awīlwm-class” contra R. Westbrook, Studies in Biblical and Cuneiform Law, CRB 26, Paris, 1988, 57-58, who takes it literally, “son of an awīlum” (so LH 7, 14, 116; see the discussion of literal and social meanings of the term in R. Yaron, The Laws of Eshnunna, 2nd ed., Jerusalem & Leiden, 1988, 146–149; LE 54, the equivalent of LH 251, uses only awīlum; mār awīlim must have the same meaning).

11 In a general way this can be seen as correlating with the conclusion of D. Daube, Studies in Biblical Law, Cambridge, 1947, 75-101, according to which editors append supplements at the end of blocks of laws to which they are related. Of course, he is talking about distinct contributors; I am speaking about the activity of a single author. See also n. 42, below.

12 See Wright, Laws (s.a. n. 1), 32.

13 If it is in its original location, then it can be viewed as an example of internal expansion.

14 These complex examples all come from the last half of the CCL of CC (the somewhat complexly formulated animal theft and field destruction laws may be included with them as well). The author thus appears to have become freer in his use of LH as the composition of CC went on.

15 L. Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Das Bundesbuch (Ex 20,22-23,33), BZAW 188, Berlin, 1990, 129-162. His overall redactional model is summarized (and critiqued) in Crüsemann, Torah (s.a.n.3), 145 n. 189.

16 E. Otto, Körperverletzungen in den Keilschriftrechten und im Alten Testament, AOAT 226, Kevelaer & Neukirchen-Vluyn, 1991, 157, however, says this phrase refers vv. 28-30 as a whole.

17 Otto, Körperverletzungen (s.a. n. 16), 158, however, views v. 30 as being added first, to which v. 31 was added. Otherwise, one would expect v. 30 to follow v. 31.

18 Otto, Körperverletzungen (s.a. n. 16), 156.

19 For Otto, Körperverletzungen (s.a. n. 16), 157, this conjunction is a “formgeschichtlich abweichende Einleitung.”

20 Otto, Körperverletzungen (s.a. n. 16), 156–158.

21 Other scholars have identified secondary elements in 21:28-32. Daube, Studies (s.a. n. 11), 86, sees v. 31 as an addition. B. Jackson, Essays in Jewish and Comparative Legal History, SJLA 10, Leiden, 1975, 145, 150, sees v. 31 as an interpolation. Otto, Körperverletzungen (s.a. n. 16), 153-164, sees vv. 28-29, 32 as an original unity to which v. 30 and then v. 31 have been added (though on pp. 157 and 163 he appears to see v. 32 as somewhat secondary along with v. 31; cf. Otto, Wandel [s.a. n. 4], 29-30). Rothenbusch, Rechtssammulung (s.a. n. 4), 327, is not entirely clear about the redactional development which he assumes took place in vv. 28-32, but apparently he does not necessarily see vv. 30-32 as secondary (pp. 320-321, esp. n. 404). Some other recent studies argue for the unity of the verses: H. Seebass, Zum Sklavenrecht in Ex 21,28-32 und der Diskrepanz zwischen Ersatzrecht und Todesrecht, ZAR 5, 1999, 182 and n. 20 there, sees vv. 28-32 as a whole “aus dem man nichts herausbrechen darf.” Y. Osumi, Die Kompositionsgeschichte des Bundesbuches Exodus 20,22b-23,33, OBO 105, Freiburg & Göttingen, 1991, 119-121, also sees vv. 28-36 as a unity (and even vv. 12-36 represent more or less a unity).

23 Malul, Comparative Method (s.a. n. 6), 151, notes similarly (and almost tautologically): “If one were to excise from the biblical laws of the goring ox the section which contain these differences [e.g., stoning, prohibition of eating the flesh, death penalty; see p. 148], one would be left with basically the same laws as those appearing in the Mesopotamian law corpora -while making due allowance, of course, for the necessary syntactical, grammatical, and lexical changes dictated by the process of adapting the material.” Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 15), 135-136, after undertaking his literary critical analysis of 21:28-32 notes the similarity to LH 250-252 to justify seeing the stoning and prohibition elements as traditionally secondary. In this he recognizes that cuneiform tradition (and maybe even sources) were used for CC (pp. 161–162, 252, 255).

24 Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 15), 145, 159, 156–161; Van Seters, Law Book (s.a. n. 4), 121; Malul, Comparative Method (s.a. n. 6), 141–142; R. Westbrook, Biblical and Cuneiform Law Codes, RB 92, 1985, 357; Finkelstein, Ox (s.a. n. 6), 19 (he says there must be “some kind of organic linkage”). For reservation about this, see Rothenbusch, Rechtssammlung (s.a. n. 4), 329.

25 For Finkelstein, Ox (s.a. n. 6), 24, the notice of walking through the street in LH “implies that the ox was ‘walking along’ under the proper control by its owner (or whoever was in charge of it), so that the ensuing accident was not the result of negligence on the owner's part. The further implication is unavoidable that the death was due to the victim's own carelessness.”

26 The stricter rulings of CC (determining these is often a matter of perspective) include: six rather than three years of work for debt servitude (21:2; LH 117); possible permanent slavery for a debt servant (21:5-6; not in LH); a daughter's becoming a wife of a creditor as opposed to serving for a limited period (21:7-11; LH 117); asylum for unintentional homicide instead of just an oath (21:12-14; LH 207); capital punishment for child rebellion rather than cutting out the tongue or cutting off the hand (21:15, 17; LH 192-193, 195); “vengeance” for killing a slave (21:20; see the discussion below), talion for various injuries to a pregnant woman (21:22-25; LH 209-214); freeing a slave for injury (21:23-27; LH 196-201); stoning an ox and killing the owner (21:28-29, 32; LH 250-252); higher indemnity for slave (21:32; LH 252; see below); the added rule of 21:36 for the goring ox (not in LH or other cuneiform law; see below). Cases of laxity include: allowing a creditor to cause the delayed death of a debt servant (21:21; LH 116; see below); being sold into debt servitude when not able to pay a debt as opposed to being dragged about a field (22:2; LH 256); a four/five-fold payment instead of ten-fold payment for a lost animal/object (22:8; LH 265); not holding one who rents an animal liable if the owner is present when it is injured or killed (22:14; cf. LH 244-249).

27 CC's author was probably familiar with LH 278-281. He knew the laws just before (Ex 22:13-14 // LH 268-271) and just after (Ex 21:5-6 // LH 282) this block. Note that LH 15-17 are also next to LH 14 which was presumably a partial stimulus for Ex 21:16.

28 For this tendency, see Malul, Comparative Method (s.a. n. 6), 144-145. He notes that the HittL mention females and males in several of its laws.

29 On the Akkadian denominative adjectival form, see Malul, Comparative Method (s.a. n. 6), 140 n. 54; GAG § 56o and § 55m.

30 C. Houtman, Das Bundesbuch; Ein Kommentar, DMOA 24, Leiden, 1997, 173.

31 Cf. S. Paul, Studies in the Book of the Covenant in Light of Cuneiform and Biblical Law, VTSupp 18, Leiden, 1970, 80 n. 5.

32 Malul, Comparative Method (s.a. n. 6), 143-144, notes the tendency for many verbs in CC to be formulated passively (21:15, 20, 21, 22, 28, 30, 31, 36; 22:1, 3, etc.) and says that “the passive mood occurs usually in verbs describing the activities of the authorities, which are supposed to discuss the matter, judge it, and execute the punishment. It seems as though the editor of the Book of the Covenant preferred for an unknown reason to use the passive mood upon the active mood of the verbs when describing the activities of the local authorities, and if so, the difference between ‘and it has been testified to its owner’ of the Book of the Covenant and ‘the city quarter notified him’ of the Mesopotamian laws is not coincidental; it is rather intentional and falls in line with the general context.”

33 Malul, Comparative Method (s.a. n. 6), 147; Paul, Studies (s.a. n. 30), 80–81 n. 6. LE 54 has only one verb: “he did not restrain (it)” la u<šē>širma (cf. Yaron, Laws [s.a. n. 10], 77; M. Roth, Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor, SBL Writings of the Ancient World 6, Atlanta, 1995], 54). For a discussion of presumed problems associated with the verb שמר “control, watch,” see Jackson, Essays (s.a. n. 21), 121-130. Given the source connections to LH, an emendation to ולא ישמ(י)דכו “and he does not destroy it” following the LXX (in both vv. 29 and 36) cannot be accepted (even Rothenbusch, Rechtssammlung [s.a. n. 4], 331 n. 440, who does not recognize LH as a source rejects this emendation on the basis of similarity to Near Eastern law; cf. J. M. Sprinkle, “The Book of the Covenant”: A Literary Approach, JSOTSupp 174, Sheffield, 1994, 104 n. 1).

34 Elsewhere in CC mitigating factors do not require execution of responsible parties (e.g., lack of intention: 21:13-14; slave ownership and delay of death: 20:21 and perhaps even 20:20, where “vengeance” is not defined). Cf. Paul, Studies (s.a. n. 30), 81-82. Rothenbusch, Rechtssammlung (s.a. n. 4), 320 n. 401, sees v. 30 as an expression of ransom that was theoretically possible elsewhere within the context of the casuistic laws (as implied in v. 23).

35 Seebass, Sklavenrecht (s.a. n. 21), 181, says that ransom is allowed here (and only here) “weil die Sühne für den Tod am gesteinigten Rind bereits erfüllt war.” If one looks at the killing of the ox as an expression of vengeance rather than “Sühne” (see below; this distinction may be more a matter of nuance than exclusive definition), then Seebass' basic logic can still apply.

36 See Seebass, Sklavenreeht (s.a. n. 21), 182.

37 Jackson, Essays (s.a. n. 21), 122; Houtman, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 29), 174.

38 For the sense of these terms, see Adrien Schenker, kωper et expiation, Bib 63, 1982, 32-46 (cf. Adrian Schenker, Versöhnung und Sühne, Biblische Beiträge 15, Freiburg, 1981, 55-59); Otto, Körperverletzungen (s.a. n. 16), 159–160; Houtman, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 29), 178-179. Num 35:31 also uses כפר of what one is not to accept in cases of intentional homicide (though here, as Schenker points out [köper, 37-39], it is an illegal payment and thus similar to a bribe). There it has the functional meaning of silver paid to the family to prevent prosecution of blood vengeance. That meaning suits CC's context.

39 Otto, Körperverletzungen (s.a. n. 16), 156, answers the question why v. 29 remains in the text unaltered by the addition: “Die Todessanktionsformulierung in Ex 21,29 bleibt unvermittelt daneben stehen, weil sie Aufschluß über die Rechtsgrundlage der Auslösung eines verwirkten Lebens und also über die Höhe der Zahlungsforderung gibt.” This actually shows how apt the addition of v. 30 is.

40 I agree with M. Greenberg that this is a reaction to vicarious punishment (Some Postulates of Biblical Criminal Law, in the Yehezkel Kaufman Jubilee Volume, M. Haran, ed., Jerusalem, 1960, [5–28] 20–27; cf. Malul, Comparative Method [s.a. n. 6], 145-146). It may be that the statement of this principle in Dtn 24:16 makes explicit what is implicit in CC (of course, Dtn may also be responding to its knowledge of Akkadian laws with vicarious punishments).

41 A. Jepsen, Untersuchungen zum Bundesbuch, BZAW 41, Stuttgart, 1927, 36) compares 21:31 to LH 230 and even goes so far as to speculate that “Es ist wohl möglich, dass eine dahingehende Bestimmung [i.e., like LH 230] durch den heutigen Worlaut des Gesetzes [i.e., v. 31] verdrängt ist.” Henri Gazelles, Études sur le Code de l'Alliance, Paris, 1946, 59, also compares v. 31 with LH 230.

42 The או here is not simply an alternative to אם. It is chosen because it idiomatically sets up an option between two conditions: ‘Whether it gores a son or daughter…” (cf. Gazelles, Études [s.a. n. 40], 59; B. Waltke and M. O'Connor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Winona Lake, 1990, 654–655).

43 See Wright, Laws (s.a. n. 1), 17-18. The participial formulation may also be influenced by another, though presumably native source or tradition that the author used. Participial laws appear in 21:12, 15-17 and 22:17-19. These similarly formulated laws also have capital penalties, and several of the laws express this with the words מות יומת “he shall be put to death.” This leads one to suppose that CC used a source or a tradition that had a number of laws participially formulated, most or all of which ended with the מות יומת formula. Crüsemann, Torah (s.a. n. 3), 150 thinks that there was such source. But he adds: “Apart from this passage there are no other places in the Mishpatim [=the CCL of CC] that suggest older pre[existing]-forms.” See also Otto, Wandel (s.a. n. 4), 31–34; Aspects (s.a. n. 4), 182-183. If this source/tradition existed, it is not certain what its original order, content, and exact wording was. Just as CC's author has reformed LH and other cuneiform sources, so we must assume that he also reformed this set of participial laws.

46 See Wright, Laws (s.a. n. 1), 22-24. Thus the talion list must be seen as original, contrary to the view of many (cf. Crüsemann, Torah [s.a. n. 3], 148-149). The reason why the talion list was appended to the miscarriage laws, apart from providing an alternative to vicarious punishment as in LH 210, was apparently to quickly summarize remaining bodily injury legislation as the author moved eventually to the goring ox law in 21:28. The slave bodily injury laws which intervene (vv. 26-27) are part of the talion laws (cf. Wright, Laws [s.a. n. 1], 23–24; LH 196-201) and thus part of this transition. One can view this as a telescoping of the material in LH. The contradiction that the talion laws seem to pose over against surrounding laws which allow compensation for bodily injury (21:18-19, 22, 26-27) is due to the use of LH as a source which has the same contradiction (see LH 206, 209, 198-201 vis-à-vis LH 196–197; as opposed to the explanation by Otto, Aspects [s.a. n. 4], 184-185, who explains the contradiction via redactional layers).

47 Malul, Comparative Method (s.a. n. 6), 132-133, notes how unique this law is in the Bible, a feature which draws attention to its similarity to LH: “the law of an ox goring a slave is the only case in the Old Testament which deals with another person's slave; usually the Old Testament deals with injuries inflicted upon a slave by his own master. Furthermore, the juxtaposition of a law dealing with injuries suffered by a slave with a law dealing with injuries suffered by a free person is quite common in the ancient Near Eastern law, but occurs no more in the Old Testament, apart from [Ex 21:28-32] … Finally, only in the case of a slave gored by an ox does the Old Testament allow the payment of monetary compensation … The picture is clear: only in the case of the laws of the goring ox does the Old Testament deviate from its usual way of dealing with slaves; the deviation, surprisingly enough, admirably fits the ancient Near Eastern picture. What is more natural, then, than to relate these two facts to each other and come to the conclusion that the biblical laws of the goring ox were influenced by their Mesopotamian parallels?”

48 CC is not adverse to abbreviated dependent formulations as found in LH. An example is Ex 21:23 אם אסון יהיה “if there is other injury,” which assumes v. 22. This more or less follows the abbreviated formulation in LH 210, dependent upon 209 (Wright, Laws [s.a. n. 1], 22-23).

49 Gilgamesh VI 119-124 (A. George, The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic, 2 vols., Oxford, 2003, 1:626-627). For subjective falling in other cases, see CAD M/1 241b–242a.

50 HALAT3 111.

51 BE 17 21:27 cited in CAD B 342b (CAD's translation); see also AHw 606a for a Neo-Assyrian example of falling ana būre “into a pit/well” (ABL 142 Rs. 1).

52 See H. Petschow, Zur Systematik und Gesetzestechnik im Codex Hammurabi, ZA 57, 1965, 146–172; B. L. Eichler, Literary Structure in the Laws of Eshnunna, in Language, Literature, and History: Philological and Historical Studies Presented to Erica Reiner, F. Rochberg-Halton, ed., New Haven, 1987, (71–84) 72. Cf. Wagner, Systematik (s.a. n. 2).

53 See Wright, Laws (s.a. n. 1), 15-18. See also n. 3, above.

54 Dtn 22:8 has a law somewhat similar to LH 229-230 (as well as LE 58) which includes house construction and falling: “When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof so that you do not bring bloodguilt on your house when one falls (כי יפל הנפל) from it.”

55 Other laws about ear piercing in the MAL (A 40, 44) are not similar enough to LH 282 to provide a sufficient or main stimulus for CC's law. But they raise the question about whether the act in CC represents native custom or is a borrowing from cuneiform law.

56 Jepsen, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 40), 36, sees vv. 33-36 as an appendix to vv. 28-32 (though they anticipate the subject of what follows in CC). Rothenbusch, Rechtssammlung (s.a. n. 4), 227, 324-327, believes that vv. 33-34 are an insertion into an older ox law consisting of vv. 28-32, 35-36. M. Noth, Exodus, OTL, Philadelphia, 1962, 183, sees 33-34 as loosely attached. Otto, Wandel (s.a. n. 4), 12–31; Körperverletzungen (s.a. n. 16), 154–155; Rechtsgeschichte der Redaktionen im Kodex Ešnunna und im “Bundesbuch,” OBO 85, Freiburg & Göttingen, 1989, 151-153, says that 21:18-32 and 21:33-22:14 (the latter a group of ־שלם-laws of which vv. 35-36 are an integral part) were originally independent collections.

57 Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 15), 143-145, 147.

58 Daube, Studies (s.a., n. 11), 138-139, also sees the phrase as secondary, “inserted in an age when restitution in kind had become obsolete and superseded by monetary restitution.” His study of the instances of D-stem שלם indicates that it in all other places means restoration in kind (p. 141–144; see also the study of the term by Gazelles, Études [s.a. n. 40], 60-61).

59 Paul, Studies (s.a. n. 30), 84; Houtman, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 29), 185. Paul says specifically: “In both cases the verb šlm (Heb. פעיל, corresponding to the Akk. D-stem) is used absolutely without a direct object and is followed by an explicative case employing the verb ‘to restore/replace’ (ישיב: Akk. iriab).”

60 CAD Š/I 228.

61 The D-stem of šalámu (CAD Š/I 226-229) is used of restoring animals (LH 267; lost through disease caused by negligence), lost items (LH 125), and property of a bride (LH 138, 149, 156). The verb râbu (CAD R 53-55) is used of replacing slaves or animals in kind (X kīma X [= X תחת]; LH 219 [cf. 231], 245-246, 263), manifold replacement of animals or stolen items (LH 8, 265), and replacing other lost property (LH 23, 53-54, 125, 232, 236-237, 240).

62 See Wright, Laws (s.a. n. 1), 31–32.

63 LH 50 (also 51) uses the D-stem of târu, a synonym of השיב, of repaying silver to a merchant who made a loan to a field owner: the field owner “returns (or pays) silver and its interest to the merchant” (kaspam u šibassu ana tamkārim utâr).

64 See also LH 44, which has a case of one renting a field “for cultivation” (ana teptītim, literally, “for opening/breaking up,” from the root petû) in a context of negligence.

65 Houtman, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 29), 185, notes that LH 53-55 are similar to Ex 21:33-34 in dealing with negligence.

66 There are two main difficulties with this verse that complicate comparison with LH 57-58. First it is not clear if it refers to grazing or burning a field (note the similarity of language of 22:5b, which does deal with burning). But because v. 4 would (despite differences) duplicate the idea in v. 5, because v. 5 starts a new case (with the conjunction כי, not אם), and because HittL 106-107 show that grazing and burning laws may occur together, v. 4 probably deals with grazing (Rothenbusch, Rechtssammlung [s.a. n. 4], 338–340; Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Bundesbuch [s.a. n. 15], 187-192.) Second, the Samaritan and LXX have a plus in the middle of the verse which creates two (main) cases (the plus is in the brackets here): “(a) If a man lets a field or a vineyard be grazed, and/or releases his animals and they graze in another person's field, [he shall repay from his field according to its produce; (b) and if he lets the whole field be grazed (read שלם ישלם משדהו כתבואתה ואם כל השדה יבעה (יבער, he shall repay from the best of his own field or from the best of his own vineyard.” This may be an interpolation to harmonize the stricter payment required in v. 4b over against laws like v. 5. Furthermore, in the MT as it stands, the (initial) protasis and apodosis have both “field” and “vineyard,” whereas the plus of the versions has only a “field” in its two members. This creates an inconsistency in the two laws of the Samaritan and Greek. (See also Houtman, Bundesbuch [s.a. n. 29], 194–195; Rothenbusch, Rechtssammlung, 341.)

67 A simple consecutive translation does not make sense, and most modern translations provide nuances. Several take the second phrase as epexegetical (Houtman, Bundesbuch [s.a. n. 29], 193–194; NJPS translation; the JB and NJB translations construe the first phrase incipiently and generally, “puts out to graze,” which the second phrase then defines). The RSV and NRSV translate the second phrase as an alternative.

68 The mention of a pit as a cistern (or a grain storage pit) may thus not necessarily reflect the author's local, Palestinian circumstances (cf. Rothenbusch, Rechtssammlung [s.a. n. 4], 352; Cazelles, Études [s.a. n. 40], 59–60).

69 Even apart from the cuneiform evidence, one could question Schwienhorst-Schönberger's conclusions about the original shape of vv. 33-34. The owner of the pit could be responsible even if someone else uncovered the pit, or the writer could have the owner in mind as the one who uncovered the pit (cf. Cazelles, Études [s.a. n. 40], 60). Moreover, as I note below, v. 34 may have been originally formulated as densely as it is because it sets up the topic of restoration for the laws that follow.

70 For these see Wright, Laws (s.a. n. 1), 20-21, 28-29, 31–32.

71 These conclusions are not entirely at odds with Schwienhorst-Schönberger's literary critical observations, despite the critique that I offer. His proposed original text (see above) contains the main elements that correlate with LH 229-230, which are roughly part of the author's primary sequential use of LH: the notions of “falling” and the antithetical concaveness of a pit (versus a house). Schwienhorst-Schönberger's secondary elements correlate with the laws used outside of the sequence: the complex apodosis with the suspect כסף ישיב לבעליו “he shall restore silver to its owner” corresponds with the complex apodosis in LH 125. Moreover, כי יפתח איש בור “when a person opens a pit” corresponds with the use of the verb petû “open” in LH 53-56 or in NBL 3. Thus one can imagine that the author came to a nuclear formulation (on “paper” or mentally) such as Schwienhorst-Schönberger suggests for the original text, and then expanded this on the basis of using other parts of LH or another collection.

72 Crüsemann, Torah (s.a. n. 3), 145-146, notes the dovetailing of the two main sections 21:12-36 and 21:37-22:16. 21:33-34 anticipate the next section and 22:1-2a reflect back on the issue of homicide in the previous section.

73 Cases with a less exact correlations include the laws about the marriage of a slave (Ex 21:3-4 // LU 4), burglary (Ex 21:1-2a // LE 13), and talion in connection with miscarriage (Ex 21:22-25 // MAL A 50, 52).

74 See Roth, Law Collections (s.a. n. 32), 153–154.

75 Roth, Law Collections (s.a. n. 32), 143–144; J. Oelsner, B. Wells, and C. Wunsch, Neo-Babylonian Period, in A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law, 2 vols., R. Westbrook, ed., HOS HO 1/72/2, Leiden, 2: (911–974) 912.

76 Rothenbusch, Rechtssammlung (s.a. n. 4), 90, notes that one cannot assume that the author knew LE in particular, but rather at most “Unter diesen Umständen müßte man mit (einer?) unbekannten [my italics] literarischen Vorlage(n) rechnen.”

77 Cf. Otto, Review of Van Seters (s.a. n. 9).

78 Wagner, Systematik (s.a. n. 2), 179. Daube, Studies (s.a. n. 11), 75-101, explains the order by viewing vv. 35-36 as an addition which is placed at the end of the section that it modifies. Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 15), 156, 147, also sees vv. 35-36 as an addition to the basic original text. Rothenbusch, Rechtssammlung (s.a. n. 4), 227, questions Daube's background evidence and conclusion (also Sprinkle, Book [s.a. n. 32], 106-107). He sees vv. 35-36 as part of the original unit before the addition of vv. 33-34. Otto explains the location of vv. 35-36 by seeing v. 33 as beginning an originally independent collection (see n. 53, above); therefore, the position of vv. 35-36 is not related to the position of vv. 28-32. Sprinkle, Book, 107-108, 112-114, argues that the arrangement of vv. 28-36 arises out of a “semi-chiastic” structuring (vv. 35-36 // vv. 28–32; similarly Osumi, Kompositionsgeschichte [s.a. n. 21], 119–121; see Wright, Fallacies [s.a. n. 42]).

79 I am leaving out of consideration here the burglary law (22:1-2a) which may not be in its original location. It better fits with 22:6-8 (either after v. 7 or after v. 8). Note that LH 125, which deals with safekeeping and was presumably influential in 22:6-8 (see Wright, Laws [s.a. n. 1], 28-29), describes the theft as occurring “by breaking in” (ina pilšim). This term appears in LH 21, the main burglary law of LH, which speaks of executing the burglar at the breach. This law may have been influential in the formulation of CC's burglary law; see Wright, Laws, 32–33. (LE 13, however, is in certain respects more similar to 22:1-2a than is LH 21, though the LE law does not use or have the condition ina pilšim.) For a discussion of the location of the law, see Otto, Wandel (s.a. n. 4), 19–20.

80 On the further supplementation of the end of the CCL with 22:17-19, see n 42.

81 It is not clear if LE requires the selling of the ox or only dividing its value with the owner retaining possession of the animal (cf. Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Bundesbuch [s.a. n. 15], 150–152; Yaron, Laws [s.a. n. 10], 292 n 124; Jackson, Essays [s.a. n. 21], 108-109, 131). If LE 53 assumes a sale, CC can be seen as making this explicit.

82 נגף is a more general term; see Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 15), 150–151; Rothenbusch, Rechtssammlung (s.a. n. 4), 329–330; H. D. Preuss, נגף, TDOT 9, 1998, 210–213. But it is doubtful that this term in v. 35 implies a significantly different type of attack than vv. 28-32 (contra Daube, Studies [s.a. n. 11], 86, 88).

83 For Otto, Wandel (s.a. n. 4), 24–25; Rechtsgeschichte (s.a. n. 53), 135, 138, the various words for striking or injury and the alternation of cases between free person and slave set 21:18-32 apart as a unit. In my view, these are not features imposed redactionally, but transferred in large part from LH. By the way, the use of הכה “to strike” in the Samaritan in 21:28, 31, 32 is part of its (later and secondary) generalization of the topic, which is also manifested in the addition of או כל בהמה “or any animal” in v. 28 and the replacement of שור “ox” with בהמה “animal” in 21:28, 29, 32 (cf. Houtman, Bundesbuch [s.a. n. 29], 171–172; M. Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel, Oxford, 1985, 170).

84 see Wright, Laws, 17–23. The author also uses synonymous terminology for fighting, ריב in v. 18 and נצה in v. 22 (which stand alongside the synonyms for striking that are used in the two verses, הכה and נגף, respectively). Only the term for fighting in v. 18 has a counterpart in LH (ina risbatim “in a fight”; LH 206). The term in v. 22 is due to a contextual expansion by CC's author (fighting does not appear in the miscarriage law of LH 209-214), building on the context of Ex 21:18-20 // LH 206. The introduction of fighting in the miscarriage law may have been a factor in the author's choosing the verb נגף “knock” rather than the verb הכה “strike,” which is more consistent with LH 209–214.

85 Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 15), 159; HALAT3 632. Malul, Comparative Method (s.a. n. 6), 142 n. 55, makes a similar conclusion: “Knowing that the regular Hebrew verb for denoting the ox's attack is נגח and not נגף, which expresses a different idea, and knowing also that the etymological parallel of נגף occurs in the Akkadian sources, it stands to reason to conclude that in front of the biblical editor there might have been a copy of a Mesopotamian law corpus in which appeared the law of an ox goring another, and which probably was different from the copy standing in front of the (same or another) editor in which only the laws of oxen goring persons appeared, and for the sake of completeness he added the law of the ox goring another in the place where it appears now. He, however, did not bother to make the needed change in the verbs (נגף and נגח) and left the Akkadian verb in the Hebrew text (possibly inadvertently). … The interpretation suggested here … is a literary-historical one, based on the assumption of the literary nature of these laws.” One of the implications of Malul's discussion of the verb (Comparative Method, 140-143) is that נגף would not be a natural choice for describing the situation of an ox goring. It makes perfect sense, however, if it is seen as reflecting the etymologically equivalent and phonologically similar Akkadian nakāpu.

86 The full and defective spellings of מתמל/מתמול in v. 36 and 29 are not necessarily signs of distinct authors (so Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Bundesbuch [s.a. n. 15], 154), just as the full and defective spellings of בור/בר, both in Schwienhorst-Schönberger's original text of vv. 33-34 (i.e., כי יכרה איש בר ונפל שמה שור או חמור בעל הבור ישלם*), are not an indication of distinct authors (even Schwienhorst-Schönberger cannot claim the latter as evidence; Bundesbuch, 143 n. 57).

87 Rothenbusch, Rechtssammlung (s.a. n. 4), 366, notes the similar, almost literal, repetition of 22:7 in 22:10. This may point to a broader compositional technique or tendency.

88 On נודע being a sign of a later addition, cf. Gazelles, Études (s.a. n. 40), 62. Given CC's sometimes imprecise and creative rendition of Akkadian, it is hard to know if נודע over against הודע really sets out a legal difference (e.g., that v. 36 does not require official notification as opposed to v. 29 which does; so Daube, Studies [s.a. n. 11], 86; Sprinkle, Book [s.a. n. 32], 114-115).

89 If the source that CC used was like LE and included a law like LE 54 (parallel to LH 251), which has ušēdīma, then the argument here must be slightly reformulated.

90 So Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 15), 147–148; Jackson, Essays (s.a. n. 21), 152 (for him v. 36 is a “scholastic addition”).

91 See n. 76 (and nn. 21, 53). In addition to the views there, Jackson, Essays (s.a. n. 21), 145-152, sees v. 35 as original but v. 36 as an addition.

92 Cf. Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 15), 148, who sees letting the ox live as a problem.

93 Noted by Otto, Rechtsgeschichte (s.a. n. 53), 155 n. 1; cf. Körperverletzungen (s.a. n. 16), 160.

94 If CC's author had access to LE or a source quite similar to it, then a law like LE 58 may have also been influential in the expansion of penalties (so Jackson, Essays [s.a. n. 21], 128). According to this law, which concerns negligence, when a buckling wall falls (maqātu) and kills someone, but the owner had been warned by authorities, “it is a capital case, subject to royal decision” (napištum ṣimdat šarrim). Rothenbusch, Rechtssammlung (s.a. n. 4), 333, notes that the difference in the penalties in LE 53-55 and 58 may have to do with the animal (as opposed to a building) having an independent will which mitigates the owner's responsibility somewhat. If a law like LE 58 was before CC's author, it - a negligence law dealing with “falling” near goring ox laws - could have also lent impetus to the creation of the negligence law of Ex 21:33-34 which deals with falling.

95 Cf. Rothenbusch, Rechtssammlung (s.a. n. 4), 320 n. 401.

96 The rejection of vicarious punishment of children in v. 31 is not an attenuation of the penalty since the culpable party is still penalized. The various laws in LH that call for vicarious punishment do not portray it as a more intensive penalty over direct punishment. Rather it is a type of measure-for-measure penalty: the culpable party is to suffer a loss similar to that of the victim. Though I would not press this here, one could even say that CC's rule in v. 31 is an intensification of the penalty since it requires punishment of the economic head of the family group (the father) even though a subordinate and economically less important member of the group (a child) is the victim.

97 See Chirichigno, Debt-Slavery (s.a. n. 2); I. Cardellini, Die biblishen “Sklaven”-Gesetze im Lichte des keilschriftlichen Sklavenrechts, BBB 55, Königsterin, 1981. Chirichigno argues (Debt-Slavery, 145-185, with a critique of Cardellini on pp. 178–182) that the slaves in 21:20-21, 26-27, 32 are chattel-slaves whereas Cardellini (Sklaven-Gesetze, 258-268, 343-347) argues that 21:20-21, 26-27 refer to debt servants and that only 21:32 refers to a chattel-slave. My conclusions agree with Cardellini in the claim that Ex 21:20-21, 26-27 “are based upon the older cuneiform tradition that referred to chattel-slaves” which has been “reworked in order to make them applicable to Hebrew debt-slaves” (Chirichigno's summary, Debt-Slavery, 178). Notably, Cardellini, as I do, sees some influence from LH 116 on Ex 21:20-21 (cf. Chirichigno, Debt-Slavery, 180). One of Chirichigno's objections to Cardellini is that the latter cannot explain why debt-servants are discussed in different ways in two different sections of CC (i.e., 21:2-7 and then in 21:20-21; Debt-Slavery, 181). My thesis solves this ostensible problem: CC's author is using the template of LH which treats different subordinate individuals at different places (i.e., at LH 117 and implicitly at LH 207-208 [augmented by LH 116]).

98 I cannot accept Chirichigno's interpretation (Debt-Slavery [s.a. n. 2], 174-177) that v. 21a means “If, however, within a day or two he gets up.” The death of the slave is implicit here; otherwise, the apodosis which says “no vengeance shall be taken…” (which, for him, refers to capital punishment) becomes superfluous.

99 So Chirichigno, Debt-Slavery (s.a. n. 2), 148–169.

100 The reason why LH 206-208 does not include a wardu is not clear. The ensuing group of laws on miscarriage does include a slave woman as victim, LH 213-214, so inclusion of a slave in the series LH 206-208 is not theoretically impossible.

101 See Wright, Laws (s.a. n. 1), 20–21.

102 For the comparison and correlation of the two laws, see Cardellini, Sklaven-Gesetze (s.a. n. 95), 344.

103 For CC's dependence on LH here, See Wright, Laws (s.a. n. 1), 23–24.

104 Cardellini, Sklaven-Gesetze (s.a. n. 95), 259, 262 (note the table), 265–266; Chirichigno, Debt-Slavery (s.a. n. 2), 146, 178.

105 By the way, my dating of the laws indicates that the term עברי simply means “Hebrew” and refers to the author's ethnic group. It does not refer to a person of a marginal or subordinate class in society (for an extensive recent discussion and critique of the ḫaibru-hypothesis and related issues, see Chirichigno, Debt-Slavery [s.a. n. 2], 200-218).

106 Perhaps the stricture of doubling LH's three years of debt service is also due to conflating slaves and debt servants.

107 E.g., Cardellini, Sklaven-Gesetze (s.a. n. 95), 265, 266 (see n. 95 herein); Rothenbusch, Rechtssammlung (s.a. n. 4), 323-324. Rothenbusch says the slave laws of vv. 28-32 and vv. 18-27 come from independent traditions. The analysis here, as well as the larger dependence of all of vv. 18-32 on LH, makes this unlikely. That the slave in v. 32 is less like the slaves in vv. 18-27 is due to the author's not making major modifications to LH 252. In other words, v. 32 more literally reflects its source than do vv. 26-27 (LH 199, 201) and 21:20-21 (LH 208, 116). Interestingly, later in his discussion, Rothenbusch makes a point that comes close to my argument (p. 334): “Nimmt man hier einen ummittelbaren überlieferungsgeschichtlichen Zusammenhang [though not a direct literary connection] an, ließe sich die inhaltliche Spannung von V. 32 zu den übrigen Sklavenrechtssätzen auf diesem Weg leicht erklären. Die engeren Parallelen zu den Sklaverechtssätzen in Ex 21,2-11.20f.26f. im KH [LH] (§115-117) unterscheiden den Schuldsklaven bzw. Schuldhäftling, der m.E. mit den ‘Sklaven’ in den genannten Rechtssätzen des Bb [CC] zu vergleichen ist, vom Vollsklaven (wardum). In den Ex 21,32 entsprechenden Rechssätzen zum ‘stoßenden und stößigen Ochsen’ (KE [LE] § 54/55; KH § 252) ist dagegen einfach nur vom wardum die Rede und also an den Vollsklaven gedacht [my italics]. Diese Bedeutung wäre dann auch für die Bb-Stelle anzunehmen.” Houtman, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 29), 175, believes that Israelite slaves are not necessarily excluded from v. 32.

108 Bone, for example, would be used for awls, needles, pins, spatulae, spindles, whorls, decorations, and pendants. See O. Borowski, Every Living Thing: Daily Uses of Animals in Ancient Israel, Walnut Creek, 1998, 59, 63–65; P. Wapnish, Bone, Ivory, and Shell: Typology and Technology, OEANE 1, 1997, 335–340; H. Liebowitz, Bone, Ivory, and Shell: Artifacts of the Bronze and Iron Age, OEANE 1, 1997, 340–343; D. Irvin, Clothing, OEANE 2, 1997, 38–40; V. R. Anderson-Stojanovic, Leather, OEANE 3, 1997, 339–340. (I thank Andrew Cohen for directing me to these references.)

109 Later, Dtn 14:21, based on this law, would say that this flesh - using the more general term נבלה “carrion” - is to be given to resident aliens or sold to foreigners. See D. P. Wright, The Spectrum of Priestly Impurity, in Priesthood and Cult in Ancient Israel, G. A. Anderson and S. M. Olyan, eds., JSOTSupp 125, Sheffield, 1991, (150-181) 165–169.

110 Jackson, Essays (s.a. n. 21), 116, and Houtman, Bundesbuch, 178, connect the prohibition of eating to the manner of killing the animal. For Jackson, however, the prohibition of eating is incidental to the act of stoning (prescribed for other reasons), whereas I see stoning as specifically prescribed to disallow alimentary use of the animal. It is similar to the use of the verb FpJJ for killing the cow in Dtn 21:4 which prevents the animal from being considered a sacrifice (see D. P. Wright, Deuteronomy 21:1-9 as a Rite of Elimination, CBQ 49, 1987, [387–403] 390-392). Indeed, Westbrook, Studies (s.a. n. 10), 87-88, says that stoning in Ex 21 in part prevents the ox from being considered a sacrifice.

111 A careful reading of Ex 22:30 indicates that only eating the meat of the animal torn by beasts is forbidden. Only the flesh (בשר) is thrown to the dogs. Presumably the bones, skin, etc. -everything but the flesh - of this particular animal may be used for nondietary purposes.

112 See primarily Greenberg, Postulates (s.a. n. 39), 15, wherein he says: “A beast that destroys the image of God and must give a reckoning for it…. The religious evaluation inherent in this law is further evidenced by the prohibition of eating the flesh of the stoned ox. The beast is laden with guilt and is therefore an object of horror”; see also pp. 13–20; cf. Greenberg, More Reflections on Biblical Criminal Law, Scripta Hierosolymitana 31, 1986, (1-17) 2, 9–17; Paul, Studies (s.a. n. 30), 79, 81, 82; Finkelstein, Ox (s.a. n. 6), 26-28, 70; N. Sarna, Understanding Exodus, New York, 1986, 179–180; Sprinkle, Book (s.a. n. 32), 123–128; Seebass, Sklavenrecht (s.a. n. 21), 181 n. 14. It seems to me, apart from the considerations raised in the main part of the paper, that this interpretation of CC's laws does not make sense when the text requires the execution of a rebellious child (21:15, 17) but not of one who kills a slave (21:21, 32). Furthermore, saying that LH manifests “a system motivated entirely by economic presuppositions” as opposed to CC (Paul, Studies, 82), misjudges the data, especially in view of the treatment of slaves as property (e.g., 21:20-21, 32 and even in 21:2-7, 26-27). For critique of Greenberg, see B. S. Jackson, Reflections on Biblical Criminal Law, JJS 24, 1973, 8–38.

113 For the stoning of the ox in Ex 21 as the father of biblical idea of the accountability of animals, see Jackson, Essays (s.a. n. 21), 118-120. Sprinkle, Book (s.a. n. 32), 127-128, suggests that final editors of the Pentateuch may have “expressed [i.e., modified] the regulation on the goring oxen in such a way as to reflect the ideology of Genesis 1 and 9.” Thus he solves the chronological problem of CC's implicitly reflecting P's ideology.

114 For H being later than P, see I. Knohl, The Sanctuary of Silence, Minneapolis, 1995; J. Milgrom, Leviticus 17-22, AB 3a, 2000, 1319-1443. Though I accept these scholars' view of the relative order of P and H, and also their view that H includes much more than just the Holiness Code, I do not accept their early dating of P and H, as one can tell from my relatively late dating of CC coupled with the fact that H depends on CC (e.g., Lev 25 vis-à-vis Ex 21:2-11; 22:10-11).

115 Similar chains of evolution can be found in/proposed for the talion laws (LH 196-201 → Ex 21:23-27 → Dtn 19:21 → Lev 24:18-22; cf. 1 Kgs 20:39; 2 Kgs 10:24) and the slave laws (LH 116-117 → Ex 21:2-11 → Dtn 15:12-18 → Lev 25:25-54; cf. Jer 34). The H law that an animal involved in bestiality be stoned (Lev 20:15-16) may also have a conceptual connection to the stoning of an ox in Ex 21 as well as CC's bestiality law in Ex 22:18; cf. Jackson, Essays (s.a. n. 21), 118-119. By the way, the logic of these linear models is one of the indications that CC is earlier than the laws of Dtn and the Holiness Code. For the goring ox law (as well as other CC laws), Van Seters has a non-linear model, where CC depends concurrently on H, D, and LH and, out of these rich and complex sources, produces a digest whose silences are said to be in polemic with the ideas of these supposed sources. See his Law Book (s.a. n. 4), 120-121 and passim; also see my review of Van Seters' book (s.a. n. 9).

117 Schwienhorst-Sehönberger, Bundesbuch (s.a. n. 15), 156, 255, in a limited way notes that v. 35-36 do not likely grow out of legal practice but were a redactional composition or a purely literary development. See p. 255 for some other possibilities. Jackson, Essays (s.a. n. 21), 148-152, thinks that 21:9, 31, and 36 are scholastic additions, which represent the operation of legal scientific concerns rather than the codification or reflection of social norms.

118 Finkelstein, Ox (s.a. n. 6), 21.

119 Hence, for example, while I would entirely agree with Crtisemann that CC is not pre-monarchic (cf. Wright, Laws [s.a. n. 1], 51-54), his argument using the slave legislation to establish this (among other evidence) must be reformulated in view of the conclusions here (see Crüsemann, Torah [s.a. n. 3], 151-159, 165-166).

120 Contrary to the openness that I allowed on the matter in my original study (Wright, Laws [s.a. n. 1], 56-57), CC is not an original part of the Sinai narrative. Two stories, which were not originally connected with particular law corpora (the Decalogue or CC), have been blended together. One describes a cloud theophany with the people at the camp reluctantly brought to the mountain for the theophany (in 19:2b-3a, 9a, 16aβ-17, 19; 20:18-21 [without the phrase about the mountain smoking]). The other narrative has a fire theophany with the people purifying in preparation and with them present at the mountain though restricted (19:9b-16aα[to הבקר], 18, 20). Ex 19:21-25 appear to be an addition augmenting the second narrative (though the deity here seems to be ignorant of the restrictions imposed in 21:12). These verses betray interests of the priestly school but are actually distinct from it (e.g., in atypically using התקדש for purification [D. P. Wright, Unclean and Clean, ABD 6, 1992, 736] and the existence of priests before there are in fact priests). Ex 19:3b-8 seem to be an addition, perhaps another tradition about a revelation at Sinai. Ex 20:18-22 in their present position provide an introduction for CC. Moses now goes up into the thick cloud (of the cloud-theophany narrative; 20:21) and then receives the laws (20:22ff.). 20:22 specifically joins the laws with the revised narrative. My analysis has been largely influenced by that of Baruch Schwartz, presented at the annual SBL meeting, San Antonio, Texas, November 2004. He, however, sees 19:3b-8 as belonging originally to the cloud-theophany narrative. The Decalogue is also original to the cloud-theophany narrative in his view. One of the issues that must be explored is the redactional connection made between CC and its narrative. Levinson, Covenant Code (s.a. n. 3), shows how the idiom בוא אל "come to" of 20:24 (in the central law of AL1) is connected to 19:9 (also 20:20). This can be explained in several ways: (1) AL1 was composed by an author different from the one who wrote the CCL and that AL1 provided a redactional connection between the narrative and the CCL (so Levinson), (2) that AL1 and the CCL are from the same author and thus the whole of CC was composed in view of the redactional context, (3) that בוא אל “come to” is an addition to either 19:9 or 20:24, or (4) that the phrases in 19:9 and 20:24 arose independently in each context and that this facilitated the joining of the two units. I am leaving the question open for now. Some other evidence that needs to be considered, however, is the integral use of the 2nd person singular verb in 21:2 and 23 (also v. 13, see below), which coincides with the 2nd person singular in AL1 (20:24-25; 20:23 uses a 2nd person plural, which may be a redactional harmonization with the foregoing; on the 2nd person plural forms as redactional, see Osumi, Kompositions-geschichte [s.a. n. 21], 183-217; Crüsemann, Torah [s.a. n. 3], 197-200). The verb in 21:2 cannot simply be turned into third person form. Thus the CCL have a contextual and stylistic link to AL1. Crüsemann, Torah, 145, sees the 2nd person sg. forms as original; for him the audience is the administrator of justice; see also W. Morrow, A Generic Discrepancy in the Covenant Code, in Levinson, Theory and Method (s.a. n. 4), 136-151. A similar connection to AL1 is found in the second person referent for the audience, the first person of deity, and the mention of “altar” and “place” in 21:13-14, though some consider these an addition from a later editor. I explain the deviation in 21:13-14 as an addition by the author of CC, who uses a different style since he is not following the content of cuneiform law at this point; see Wright, Laws (s.a. n. 1), 17-18 and n. 42, above.


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