The Problem of Exod. Xxi 22-5 (Ius Talionis)

The Problem of Exod. Xxi 22-5 (Ius Talionis) THE PROBLEM OF EXOD. XXI 22-5 (IUS TALIONIS) BY BERNARD S. JACKSON Edinburgh "An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth" is said to be the most widely known principle of Biblical law, and to represent, in the popular mind, the whole tenor of Old Testament legislation. Scholars. have expended a sometimes disproportionate amount of effort on it 1), often in reaction to the criticisms of the Sermon on the Mount. The aim of this paper is narrower. It is concerned with a single text, Exod. xxi 22-5, and proposes to explain how and why it came to assume its present form. The difficulties presented by the passage are well-known. They involve both internal and external inconsistencies. A detailed reexam- ination of them might be superfluous 2), were it not for the fact that the most recent commentary on this collection (the "Book of the Covenant", Exod. xxi I-xxii 16, referred to as the Mishpatim) attempts to remove them, often by following rabbinic exegesis 3). That such an 1) Notably, E. GOITEIN, Das Vergeltungsprincip im biblischen und talmudischen Strafrecht, Halle 1891; D. W. AMRAM, "Retaliation and Compensation", JQR (NS). II 1911, pp. 191-211; J. HOROVITZ, "Auge http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Vetus Testamentum Brill

The Problem of Exod. Xxi 22-5 (Ius Talionis)

Vetus Testamentum, Volume 23 (3): 273 – Jan 1, 1973

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1973 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0042-4935
eISSN
1568-5330
D.O.I.
10.1163/156853373X00027
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

THE PROBLEM OF EXOD. XXI 22-5 (IUS TALIONIS) BY BERNARD S. JACKSON Edinburgh "An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth" is said to be the most widely known principle of Biblical law, and to represent, in the popular mind, the whole tenor of Old Testament legislation. Scholars. have expended a sometimes disproportionate amount of effort on it 1), often in reaction to the criticisms of the Sermon on the Mount. The aim of this paper is narrower. It is concerned with a single text, Exod. xxi 22-5, and proposes to explain how and why it came to assume its present form. The difficulties presented by the passage are well-known. They involve both internal and external inconsistencies. A detailed reexam- ination of them might be superfluous 2), were it not for the fact that the most recent commentary on this collection (the "Book of the Covenant", Exod. xxi I-xxii 16, referred to as the Mishpatim) attempts to remove them, often by following rabbinic exegesis 3). That such an 1) Notably, E. GOITEIN, Das Vergeltungsprincip im biblischen und talmudischen Strafrecht, Halle 1891; D. W. AMRAM, "Retaliation and Compensation", JQR (NS). II 1911, pp. 191-211; J. HOROVITZ, "Auge

Journal

Vetus TestamentumBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1973

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