A series of Deuteronomic laws giving rights and protection to minorities and the oppressed in ancient Israel were drawn up some time between the 10th and 7th centuries BC. In this study, Harold Bennett argues that these biblical laws in fact intensified the social injustices and plight of a particular category of individuals - widows, strangers and orphans. Bennett studies the circumstances of the drafting of the laws, the identification of this particular category of people, and assesses the role of the laws and whether they were part of a wider political-economic program of self-interest and exploitation. Based on a close study of Deuteronomic law and critical law theory, the laws are exposed as a means of manipulating a socially vulnerable but politically useful group of people for the political and economic gain of an elite.
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