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The Evolution of Law: Mesopotamia, Palestine and Rome - Essay Example

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According to The Book of Exodus, Chapters 19, upon the escape of the Israelites from the land of Egypt, God declared his intention to make a covenant with the nation of Israelites. His intention was to make the people His own possession and make the nation a holy nation. The…
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Download file to see previous pages The covenant was structured on condition that the Israel as a nation would obey God. The agreement conforms to the normal format between a vassal state and a king otherwise known as suzerainty treaty2. This is a norm that was established in near eastern covenants and treaties. The Exodus chapters are organized in such away to reveal the conditions for the treaty made by the people of Israel and God. The Ten Commandments were later on established in the treaty to make a summary of the conditions the Israelites were to observe in order to be called the holy nation. The provision of law was critical for very empirical grounds. In this case there were over 2 million former slaves of Egypt wandering in the desert; individuals who had never created rules or ruled themselves.
The Ten Commandments can be separated into two groups; those laws command our love to God and those defining love for others3. In this case, the Lord was sovereign King and Yahweh creating the theocracy as the form of governance. The loyalty to God was therefore critical for a strong bond. The Israelites were to worship truthfully and no other gods apart from God. The ethical conduct among the people was also established under “Israel’s Bills of Rights” There are individuals in the society who were entitled to certain basic rights. For example the slaves were to be freed by their masters after every 7th year.4 The female slaves were not to be sold to foreign people and were to be taken good care of in case they were replaced. The foreigners, orphans and widows had a right to be treated well. Therefore lending money to the poor was to be made with no interest or collateral. Everyone was to look out for the disadvantaged. On the other hand the accused during judicial actions were not be subjected to false testimony, biasness or bribery hence the criticality of judging a person falsely was emphasized5. If all the rules and laws were to be observed the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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