This book consists of two parts: first, a translation of a brochure by Professor Hubert Grimme, to which I append a version from the Babylonian of such of the laws of Hammurabi's Code as he discusses in detail; and, secondly, of a series of chapters by myself.
Hammurabi's stela is, and must remain, a conspicuous landmark in the historical and legal study of the Old Testament, but, so far as I am aware, no writer except Professor Grimme has appeared to discuss this great monument of the Abrahamic age in a manner at all satisfactory to students who believe the Old Testament to be authentic and historically true. For such persons, and, indeed, for all earnest-minded inquirers, this sketch of his appears to me likely to be very helpful, a contribution of value to the understanding both of Hammurabi's and the Mosaic Codes, and also of the relationship, or otherwise, between them. Hence, this translation of Professor Grimme's sketch.
But for many English readers further information appeared to be required, and some points to call for development and for illustration from the ancient inscribed monuments; hence the second part of this volume, which may serve as a succinct, practical introduction to the archaeology of the Pentateuch from the period of Abraham. In its pages I have sought to set forth briefly the history of the Hammurabi period in Babylonia and how it affected the patriarchs of Israel; the state of culture which surrounded the Hebrews from the days of Abraham to Moses; the history of Hammurabi's Code in later Babylonia, and its influence, or otherwise, upon the laws of Israel; and how the political and legal, the geographical and historical conditions, and the institutions, both legal and ceremonial, of the times, as brought before us by contemporary monuments, are faithfully reflected in the pages of the Pentateuch. My contribution closes with two further chapters — one of them applying Professor Grimme's method to a subject of Pentateuchal law which lies outside the special sections he discusses, and the other illustrating — by an incident which was fresh in the minds of the people of Galilee and South Syria at the time of my sojourn there, now some years ago —what would be the practical working of a section of Hammurabi's Code….
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