The enemies of the Bible publish from time to time rumours that the law of the Torah was borrowed from the Code of Hammurabi, and that the Jewish people wrote the Talmud and the Torah after their return from the Babylonian captivity, where they derived their law from the Babylonian civilization.
Is there really a similarity between the Law of Moses and Code of Hammurabi?
What is the oldest law on earth?
Let’s start with the Code of Hammurabi and the twelve stone tablets that were found.
Is it really the Code of Hammurabi the oldest legislation in the world?
In fact, Hammurabi is not the owner of the oldest law in the world, as the law of Noah preceded it by a thousand and five hundred years. This law, absent from most of us, is found in the Talmud in the Hebrew language they call today (universal laws), meaning universal laws
Its number of articles is seven, embodying the human values of the relationship with the Creator and with human beings, and it states:
Do not worship idols – Marry to have children – Do not commit adultery – Do not eat an animal with its blood – Do not steal – Do not kill – Do not bear false witness.
So, the oldest law on the face of the earth is not the law of Moses or Hammurabi, but rather the law of Noah and it is considered the basis for all laws,
It included the commandments that Noah gave to his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth after The Flood.
The difference between the Code of Hammurabi and the Law of Moses.
1- The number of articles of the Code of Hammurabi is 282 articles or laws, which were found written in the Akkadian language on 12 stones,
while the number of articles of the Law of Moses 613 laws, when we want to say that the Jews after the exile returned to carry the laws of Babylon and applied them in their book,
They must be the same number or a little less or a little more, and no more than many times.
2- In the Code of Hammurabi: The first law is (If a person brings an invitation against a person, accuses him of a major crime, and he cannot prove it, then the one who is residing in the call is put to death).
Regardless of what the case is, small or large, too, the third law of Hammurabi says: (False testimony in major matters is death.)
In the Law of Moses:
Deuteronomy chapter 19
16 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that is wrong;
17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;
18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.
So the judgment on the false witness was to be sentenced in place of the victim with the same punishment.
3- The eighth law of Hammurabi says:
(If a person stole a bullock, a sheep, a pig, or a boat, if the stolen property belongs to God, or to minors, or to the king, then he must give thirty times, but if the stolen items belong to a normal person, then he must give ten times, and if it is not The thief has something to compensate for, and he is killed)
This is the third clause the Code of Hammurabi, which establishes the inevitable result of any act, whether theft or otherwise, is murder.
As for the Law of Moses,
Exodus chapter 22 verse:
1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.
2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.
3 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
4 If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.)
We see that the Law of Moses requires that the stolen one be compensated for his weakness, without distinguishing between a prophet, a successor, a king, or the common people.
The robbery is theft according to the Law of Moses, while the Code of Hammurabi gives a distinction between stealing the king, stealing the god (the temple), or stealing the common people.
4- Laws 9-10-12 in Code of Hammurabi stipulate one thing, which is the criminalization of those without witnesses.
(If a person loses something and is found in another’s possession, and this said that he bought it from another in the presence of witnesses, then the one who sold is killed, and if the buyer does not attend witnesses, he will be killed, and if the owner of the things does not present witnesses, he will be killed)
Murder is a punishment and a sword for everyone to control the crime and prevent misleading the law, but this leads to the ruling for those who have witnesses.
As for the Law of Moses, Leviticus chapter 6
(2 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbor in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbor;
3 Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein:
4 Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found,
5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.
6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest:
7 And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein.)
The difference is clear, of course, that the looted is compensated five times, and whoever betrays the trust, or its owner, is considered as if he has betrayed the LORD, but the thief is not punished as the murderer, but every criminal takes his due.
5- Injustice prevailed on the Code of Hammurabi, for example, the Code of Hammurabi 57
(Whoever grazes his sheep in a field without asking his owner’s permission, the owner of the field compensates for 20 times more grain).
As for in the Law of Moses, Exodus chapter 22
(5 If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.)
So the compensation is equal, but from the best that you have and not from the worst that you own.
6- Hammurabi Code No. 130
If a man rapes a man’s wife, and she has never met a man, and is still in her father’s house – meaning that she is a man’s fiancée – then this man is killed, and this woman is left, because she is still in her family’s house.
With regard to the Law of Moses, discrimination is made if she is forced or willing, because the law is stipulated that the adulterer and the adulterer be killed,
First, the legislation of the Torah did not distinguish between a man and a woman. Secondly, it distinguished the cause. He like to have mercy on people according to.
Circumstances and reasons, because a rapist may not be stoned like an adulteress who willingly, or an adulteress who exchanges money for adultery.
Deuteronomy chapter 22
(23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbor’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.)
This is the just law, as no law came before or after it punished men and women, as we see today videos of stoning in Islamic law, for example,
they only stone the woman, and you do not see a single man being stoned for adultery, so does the woman commit adultery alone?
The law of Moses also distinguishes for us the place of the act, whether it was in a field or in a city, where they consider the usurper in a field innocent, unlike the usurper in Medina, as the second woman, if she was forced, would have screamed and would have found someone to save her, and here the accusation is dropped from the field victim and he is stoned alone, or marries her,
The Law of Moses distinguished between rape and fornication, while the Code of Hammurabi did not.
7- Hammurabi Code 196
(If master hatches an eye of the sons of the master, then they have to hatch his eye, if a master breaks the bone of another master, then they have to break a bone, if a master pulls a master’s tooth out, then they have to pull out his tooth, but for the slave there is no ruling for the servant over the master)
The Code of Hammurabi did not do justice to the slaves, and established the class differences between slaves and masters, between kings and common people, and between the stranger and the son of the earth (the people of Babylon).
As for the Law of Moses, in Deuteronomy chapter 19
(21 And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.)
This matter was upon everyone, whether members of the master, the prophets, the people, the sons of Moses and Aaron, all of them being equal to the common people, so it makes no difference.
The evidence is in Leviticus chapter 24
(22 Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.) What is meant by the stranger is the foreigner or non-Jew, or the Gentile, who is like the patriot (as the son of the earth)
Noting that the Jews compensated the organ for the value of the organ, and this explains why we do not see provisions for amputation of organs among the Jews.
8- Hammurabi Code No. 209 (If a man strikes a man’s girl and causes her to have an abortion, he must pay ten shekels of silver to abort her fetus)
The value of the fetus, which was supposed to be a living soul, was only ten shekels.
As for in the Law of Moses, Exodus chapter 21
(22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according to the woman’s will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.)
So justice is compensation according to the scale of the disaster, so it is possible that you may be barren and after many years you became pregnant with a pregnancy that you may not be able to compensate for.
9- Hammurabi Code No. 245 – 249: (If one of them hires a bull and slaughters it due to negligence or beating, the owner of the bull is compensated with a bull like him, but if a person hires a bull and the god strikes him then he dies, the person who hires the bull shall swear before God and go out free)
Here we see the neglect of rights, as the issue may end with an alliance without compensation.
As for the Law of Moses, Leviticus chapter 24
(18 And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast.)
It leaves no room for speculation, nor for the oaths.
10- Hammurabi Code No. 195 says: (If he strikes his father’s son, they must cut his fingers)
But the Law of Moses, Exodus chapter 21
(15 And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.)
The punishment was murder, as transgressing the LORD God, or the parents, was considered a major sin,
Also in the Code of Hammurabi it only mentioned beating the father and did not mention the mother, and here also the distinction between male and female appears in the Code of Hammurabi,
Whereas in the Law of Moses he did not discriminate, neither by murder, nor by stoning, or in Boundaries, sins and blessings between males and females.
11- In the Code of Hammurabi 2:
(If someone else complains about the accusation of witchcraft, but does not prove it, then the one against whom the case for witchcraft is filed must go to the river and throw himself. If he drowns, the accused seizes the wealth of this person, and if he goes out unscathed, he seizes the wealth of the accuser, and the accused is executed)
Here we see the rule of superstition on the Code of Hammurabi, where the final judgment is left to the river, nature, or man’s physical strength.
As for magic in the Law of Moses, Exodus chapter 22
(18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.)
Also Deuteronomy chapter 18
(10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch)
12- Also from the Hammurabi Legislation myths, that
(The wife accused of treason throws herself into the river, and if she goes out from it then she is innocent, and if she does not go out then she is a traitor)
In Hammurabi legislation, the ruling is based on the river, muscles, and the ability to swim, as mentioned above.
13- Also from the strange Code of Hammurabi,
(If a man hits a woman and she aborts her fetus and dies, then she kills the man’s daughter),
As for the Law of Moses, it is the murderer who is killed.
14- Hammurabi gave himself as a king in his legislation privileges not granted to the common people to be above the law,
As for Moses and Aaron, they were like the rest of the people, and what happened to the people was happening to them and their children.
15- The Code of Hammurabi focused on consolidating slavery, and explained in detail the provisions of the Hammurabi Code, duties of workers and slaves, transporting food, theft, etc.
This is what made 260 of the 282 laws of Hammurabi separate masters from slaves.
I have enumerated for you a few items in a hurry, and who said that there are similarities between the law of Hammurabi and the Law of Moses,
Personally, I have not seen any similarities, neither in the judgment, nor in the manner in which the matter is presented, nor in terms of the result reached by the decision of the law.
Also, there are people to this day, such as the Assyrians and Yazidis, who know about the Code of Hammurabi, they do not contain any kind of sacrifices and the law of purification.
Or any kind of forbidden and permissible foods, as these matters were not approached by the laws of Hammurabi at all.
Those who study the two laws will find in the Law of Moses 613 articles, precise details in which the law of pure and impure foods is mentioned, the law of leprosy, the law of diseases and how to purify them, inheritance, life and death, marriage … etc.
From small matters to destroying homes and big matters such as murder and fornication.
All these detailed laws are not found in the Code of Hammurabi, which focused on the separation between gentlemen and slaves, and between kings and common people, and made most of the laws result in murder to prevent the spread of immorality and crimes.
Mar / 25 / 2019